Instead of using an independent agency, Atos is allowed to do its own ‘​mystery shopping’​, employment secretary Chris Grayling has revealed in a written parliamentary answer.

‘​Mystery shopping’​ involves an individual posing as a customer to discover what standard of service is being provided by an agency. Where taxpayers money is involved it would seem only reasonable that the mystery shoppers would work for an independent agency with no vested interest in the outcome.

In the case of Atos, however, the company is allowed to use its own area service delivery manager to carry out mystery shopper visits. Not only that, but only 143 such visits were carried out in 2010-2011, which is just over one visit per Atos medical centre. So far in the year 2011-2012 a derisory 57 visits have been carried out.

Grayling’​s answers are available here and here


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