ATOS and the Commonwealth Games

By: A.C.

Hopefully, despite the troubling problem of Norovirus “doing the rounds” amongst security staff, all will go smoothly. One Company “Sponsor member” that will be there regardless, despite the Norovirus, is ATOS.

Somehow I missed this fact, or perhaps it was because the initial outbursts and anger in the media were about two years ago or maybe that ATOS are in charge of the Information technology for the Paralympic, Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Or maybe the “media managers” kept on top of the news stories to prevent the branding of the Healthcare Division of ATOS being associated with its IT Division, and keeping protest viewpoints out of the mainstream media.

There have been questions asked, and Glasgow City Council has held meetings about whether ATOS should stay as a sponsor for the Games. The vote taken last year was to approve ATOS in their role as IT providers, but, that decision has not been welcomed by disability activists.

Earlier this year the AAD Blog reported that ATOS were to lose the contract for Work Capability Assessment.
Last year, a doctor conducting work capability assessments resigned from ATOS because they refused to accept that the person he had assessed was in fact unfit for work.

That report made it clear that the inhuman assessment by computer software, did not take his years of medical experience into account. Will the Information Technology used by ATOS in their Work Capability Assessments be used by other future contractors for the DWP? So it is not just who has the contract that presents a problem for those facing these WCAs. It will be down to whose IT technology is used, and whether that contractor can meet DWP demands.

Brian Nourse, Chief Information Officer for Glasgow 2014 said:

“The final preparations for the delivery of the Games are well under way and we are confident that the significant level of planning and testing already undertaken will help ensure the technology solutions being deployed by ATOS for the Games are on track to meet the expectations of all involved.”

It would appear that many activists from disability groups still plan to protest at the Games.

It is indeed strange that medals will be awarded to athletes in the Para Games, who have probably been through the ATOS System.

To paraphrase Susan Calman, the well–known Comedian and Radio Broadcaster, “just let’s hope that ATOS do not start throwing disabled athletes out of the Games – because they are not disabled enough”.

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