Cornwall councillor resigned over outsourcer's use of lie detectors to catch benefit cheats

A councillor in Cornwall resigned from her post in Cornwall Council’s cabinet after she discovered the council’s service provider Capita was using lie detectors when doing telephone interviews with some benefit seekers.

Tory councillor Fiona Ferguson was threatened with the sack if she revealed the practice of using the Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) software, also known as the lie detector, when carrying out a review of people claiming single person’s council tax discount.

She did not give the council leader a chance to sack her and duly resigned, revealing the whole shameful activity.

This reminds me of the protests of the Facebook group campaigning for better treatment of disabled people, known as Black Triangle. This group was protesting against the use of software by Atos when assessing whether people were entitled to disability employment support allowance.

Read the full article here: Cornwall Council Tory group leader Fiona Ferguson quits Cabinet post over “lie detector” tests

Councils should probably use these lie detectors during negotiations with service providers, because many contracts fail to meet expectations.

Cornwall council is becoming synonymous with negative headlines about public sector outsourcing.

The whole debacle surrounding its strategy to outsource services including IT, saw the overthrow of the council leader and a heated debate.

Here are some of the articles written about this:

Cornwall Council opts for IT outsourcing after rejecting BT privatisation

Cornwall outsourcing backers accused of ‘undemocratic’ tactics

Cornwall Council puts outsourcing move on hold after landslide vote

Cornwall Council axes leader Alec Robertson in outsourcing controversy