Friday, 20 July 2012

FOI requests to DWP about ATOS and other ACRONYMS

I've made a set of FOI requests to the DWP about the piss-poor state of recording devices available for benefit claimants' medical assessments.

Given claimants (I refuse to say "customers") typically have better outcomes if their assessments are recorded, I can see why ATOS may not be wildly interested in providing adequate numbers of recording devices to their assessment centres, but they're a hugely wealthy IT company. If they can't set up a decent dictaphone in at least one room in each centre, they're a poor bloody excuse for an IT company.

So, my set of FOI requests (split up so the whole lot can't be discarded as "too expensive" to answer) is:


Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

1) Have you requested that ATOS acquire any recording devices
suitable for the recording of claimants' medical assessments and

2) If the answer to 1) is yes, how many have the DWP requested be


Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

How many of the medical assessment centres used by ATOS will have
access to a minimum of 1 recording device suitable for recording
benefit claimants' interviews?


Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

1) Are any recording devices to be used by ATOS for the recording
of benefit claimants' medical assessments sMe pace / home office
compliant machines, as used by DWP fraud office?

2) If the answer to 1 is NO, what differs between these machines
and those?


Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

1) Are standard recording devices used by DWP fraud inspectors "off
the shelf", or specially built?

2) Are Work Capability Assessment recording devices "off the
shelf", or specially built?

If the two types of recording device are differently specified,
why? What purpose do the different specifications serve?


Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

1) Of the 11 recording devices used for benefit claimants'
interviews by ATOS, how many are currently working?

2) How long, on average, does a repair to these recording devices

3) What plans are there to ensure the the maximum number possible
are available for use at any given time?

Let's see what comes back from the DWP, eh?