The Guardian has reported on the ongoing story with regards to the upcoming tendering for new providers for the controversial Work Capability Assessment contract, noting that a leaked document has revealed the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) plans to use providers to expand capacity in the WCA before those providers take over the whole contract from the current provider, Atos Healthcare, from 2015.
The first decision to procure new suppliers for the service was taken by the DWP back in June last year, following reports that Atos’ assessments were not up to scratch.
The article does, however, state that this could contravene EU competition law, as it would favour one company over another when the contract is retendered from 2015. It also highlights last week’s Westminster Hall debate on Atos, in which Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning described the current one-provider set up for the WCA as “flawed”.
Meanwhile, tomorrow Wednesday 19th February will see a co-ordinated day of protest against Atos and the WCA, with demonstrations occurring outside 140 Atos assessment centres, as well as their head offices in central London.