More lies, damned lies and propaganda from The Grayling

The DWP/Atos lies and skulduggery are now so blatant as to be risible. They’ve given up even trying to maintain a semblance of credibility now, such is their total arrogance and contemptuous disregard for the truth!

“Large scale purchase of machines in the absence of an evaluation of the process is not effective use of public money”

~ Grayling

“I find it hard to believe that a company with a multimillion pound government contract is incapable of obtaining and operating sufficient recording devices.”

~ Shadow Minister Timms

(A £100 million pound contract)


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Fitness-for-work tests hit by technical chaos” was written by Amelia Gentleman, for The Guardian on Friday 20th July 2012 17.28 Europe/London

Employment minister Chris Grayling has been asked to provide an explanation for mounting chaos surrounding the fitness-for-work assessment, amid complaints over the transparency of the process.

New unhappiness with the system, run by the private firm Atos, has emerged over individuals’ requests to record their assessment as a way of ensuring that their details are correctly registered.

Claimants were given the right to request a recording last year. But the Department for Work and Pensions only bought 11 recording machines – shared between 123 assessment centres – which test 11,000 people every week. Several are currently broken.

A number of reports by charities have highlighted inaccuracies in the testing process, which determines eligibility for the new incapacity benefit and Employment and Support Allowance.

Many claimants are anxious to record their assessments to make sure the account of their health problems is correctly reflected. Large numbers of cases are currently going to tribunal because applicants believe they have been wrongly refused benefits; around 40% of cases are overturned in the claimant’s favour at tribunal.

Despite a government promise that everyone is entitled to record their assessment, many people have been told there are no machines available, because they are being repaired, and that they must go ahead with the test anyway. Individuals have been told they are not able to record assessments with their own devices “in view of security and confidentiality considerations”.

In a statement on its website, Atos says: “We will make every effort to accommodate requests for this service and hope that we will be able to meet demand. However, under the terms of our contract with the department, we cannot postpone an assessment on the basis of audio-recording.”

Atos’s refusal to postpone tests is at odds with a statement made by Grayling in a response to a written question on the subject posted by the Labour MP Frank Field, this week when he promised: “Clients will be told in advance that their request cannot be accommodated and offered a later date.”

He added that: “Large scale purchase of machines in the absence of an evaluation of the process is not effective use of public money.”

The shadow employment minister, Stephen Timms, who has written to Grayling to highlight his concerns about the lack of recording equipment, said: “I find it hard to believe that a company with a multimillion pound government contract is incapable of obtaining and operating sufficient recording devices.”

A DWP spokeswoman said several machines had broken in transit and there had initially been a very small number of requests for recordings, which was why only 11 machines were bought. “It is simply not true that the recording machines are all broken, in fact we are in the process of buying more and fixing the few that have encountered problems.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Comments
  • Lynda Phillips July 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve got an Olympus DS-30 which cost a lot of money when I purchased it for journalistic activities… Even the newer models are approx. £400 for the best… FFS ATOSsers and DWP get your story straight and admit that you just do not want to comply with regs. and most of your staff wouldn’t know how to use them… I’m prepared to give them training over skype for an exhorbitant consultant/training session fee 😉

  • jeffrey davies (@jeffrey33333) July 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    you bet your sweet life on it they dont want to be recorded as it will show up their lies thus when appeal comes around you would not need to do anyhting but play the recording as only lies would be said on it thus winning again jeff3 atos doesnt tell truth only lies

  • Sue July 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I have recieved notification that they want me to attend another assessment, just a few weeks after winning my appeal against the first one. I have made a written request for it to be recorded, however reading this I will now take a recording device into my “assessment” and if they tell me that they haven’t got a working recorder I will secretly record the interview myself.

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