Maximus and ATOS

By: A.C.

There are a quite few creatures in the animal world that can, when threatened, will use camouflage to hide. The animal will change its appearance dramatically, sometimes in seconds, like the squid for example, and the colour change and pattern signals its mood and whether it is friendly. In fact, there are many creatures that have natural colour, which will resemble or blend them into their surroundings.

Just like those creatures, there have always been people, who will have all sorts of reasons for wanting to erase their past, or brush over their electronic tracks and try to change their own history, so as to blend into new surroundings. Some might take up a new identity in a different place or country and try to forget, or even eradicate their past, so it does not catch up with them.

Earlier this year I opined on articles about ATOS that even though the overall Health Division of the Corporation had walked away from its contract with the DWP, their computers, data, and staff were still in place. In fact the Government gave Atos £10 Million to keep the data systems in place.

So it was no surprise to read in the Independent article featured on our Facebook page that:

“Professor Michael O’Donnell, the former medical director of Atos, now plays a senior role in the American company Maximus, which has won a £500m Government contract to decide whether disabled people are able to return to work. His previous company walked away from the contract, which was supposed to end in 2015.”

Using the internet to share CV’s on social media about one’s past work history and proudly showing it off is a must for the ambitious professional executive nowadays.

However this particular Professor has suddenly, according to the Independent, decided that a large part of his career is not worth bothering about. He removed all references to his employment with ATOS from the professional network LinkedIn. Why would a Professional Medical Director not want to be associated with a particular time when he was employed by Atos? Most of these profiles I have seen provide an in –depth resume of the person’s career and education.

No doubt the Professor will also try to use the Google EU “right to be forgotten” rule in trying to suppress searches for articles in Europe that link him to Atos. It is his right to camouflage himself, by erasing enough of his past, so that he can disappear in full view.

What is concerning, is that he can now be employed by a subsidiary Company of Maximus, the new disability assessment company taking over from ATOS, which shows how much of the “old regime” is still in place.

The Independent article quotes a DWP spokesperson:

“To make sure there is a seamless transfer from Atos, Maximus will inevitably draw on many of the existing Atos assessors. Mike O’Donnell is medical director of the Health Management Ltd and will not be supporting Maximus in its management of the work capability assessment contract.”

I think many disabled people who have lost their benefits and are struggling to cope, will wonder why this man, simply slides sideways from one job into the next. Having the right professional contacts and backing, clearly helps when a Government department wants to carry out its ideology.

The thing about camouflage is; “a Leopard cannot change its spots” – and this particular leopard has been found out.

He is probably just one of many.

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