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Department for Work and Pensions spent £24m with Atos in 2011

Kathleen Hall

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spent nearly £24m with outsourcing company Atos last year.

The figure was revealed in response to a Parliamentary question from Kevin Brennan MP and covers four contracts with the French IT services company.

Atos’ Government Gateway contract – the online identity check enabling people to access government services – was valued the most, at nearly £15m per year. The eight-year contract is due to end in 2014 and is worth a total of £47m.

The second highest spend was the department’s Tell Us Once IT project, which will reduce the number of times a next of kin informs different government departments after a bereavement. The pan-government service cost the department £6.3m over the last year and will be complete in 2014.

Other cost areas included £2.4m on occupational health services and £112,400 on medical services.

However, the DWP’s controversial contract with Atos Healthcare, a division of IT services supplier Atos, to carry out re-assessments on 1.5 million people claiming sickness and disability benefits under its ‘fitness to work’ scheme, was not included in the figure.

Computer Weekly revealed that two Atos Healthcare employees were being investigated last year over allegations they made inappropriate remarks on Facebook about the people they assess for sickness and disability benefits, and are accused of separately referring to them as "parasites" and "down and outs".

 


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