Login FormClose

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

A senior executive at the company used by the Government to oversee disability benefits has attempted to amend his career history amid anger from disability campaigners that the welfare state is now being run by private sector “henchmen”.

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.

Despite Government promises of a fresh start, Professor O’Donnell now works as the medical director of Health Management Limited (HML) which is a subsidiary of Maximus. The company claims he will not be directly involved in the delivery of the new contract, but all reference to Professor O’Donnell’s previous role at Atos was removed from his career history on the business networking site LinkedIn this week - which MPs and campaigners fear is an effort to conceal the close relationship between the two organisations.

Full story in the Independent.

Comments  

+1 #5 tintack 2014-11-10 17:10
What a moral coward O'Donnell is. This shady character could hardly have a more dubious history - chief medical officer at both UNUM and Atos, both utterly discredited. O'Donnell ought to be brought to account for his role in inflicting the WCA on sick and disabled people, not be allowed to hide it - he's one of the most culpable.
+1 #4 tintack 2014-11-10 15:26
Quoting carruthers:
pusscatsmum, I think you have this the wrong way round.

The fashionable philosophy from across the pond goes like this:

1) You shouldn't have that much money spent on the useless and the idle anyway.

2) If you are going to hand out that sort of money it should be done in such a way as to make money for private companies. Anything else is a criminal waste of a profit-making opportunity in a capitalist system.

And the American Way of Business-Run Government is ever-more popular over here.

Give TTIP a couple of decades and it will probably be illegal for governments to do anything except invade other countries and lock up people who get in the way of multi-nationals making money.


Why anyone has objected to this comment is beyond me. The evidence for the increasing privatisation and corporatisation of government is overwhelming.
#3 carruthers 2014-11-08 07:27
pusscatsmum, I think you have this the wrong way round.

The fashionable philosophy from across the pond goes like this:

1) You shouldn't have that much money spent on the useless and the idle anyway.

2) If you are going to hand out that sort of money it should be done in such a way as to make money for private companies. Anything else is a criminal waste of a profit-making opportunity in a capitalist system.

And the American Way of Business-Run Government is ever-more popular over here.

Give TTIP a couple of decades and it will probably be illegal for governments to do anything except invade other countries and lock up people who get in the way of multi-nationals making money.
+2 #2 Paul Richards 2014-11-07 22:32
Hi pusscatsmum,
Yes, you're right - what an appalling waste, (yet again) by this incompetent and wicked Government Coalition. As I have mentioned before on here, perhaps it's because they want to stay close to other Countries firms. Our's perhaps may have been too 'lenient' on claimants, so maybe they actively seeked out the very worst of these firms and have paid them a huge amount to bring the sword of damacles and a vast amount of unnecessary stress down onto the sick and disabled of Britain (as if they did not have enough problems to deal with before all this!)

And in addition, isn't this so like it that this former Medical Director of Atos is now going to be parachuted into a subsidiary of Maximus and they have tried to cover up his past 'history'. It is all so very disgraceful, but I must admit that I am not at all surprised by it!
+2 #1 pusscatsmum 2014-11-07 11:28
£500 million !!!. Why does it cost so much.
Surely £500 million spent on those who legitimately require benefits would be better spent. Even with this amount put into correct savings the money would multiply considerably therefore providing enough funds for some time rather than lining an American Business.
If our govt has this much money sloshing around, why does it need to be given to another company over the pond.
?????????

You need to be logged in to comment