Atos faces review of contracts with government

The Cabinet Office will review all contracts supplier Atos holds with central government after problems with the development of an ICT system to extract data from GPs, according to reports.

In January, the Public Accounts Committee called on the government to review Atos’ relationships as a supplier to government after criticising “sharp practice” over the GPES contract.

The committee said: “In their approach to this project Atos did not show an appropriate duty of care to the taxpayer. 

“We are not satisfied Atos provided proper professional support to an inexpert client and are very concerned that it appears to have acted solely with its own short term best interests in mind.”

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The committee criticised the company’s chief executive, Adrian Gregory for evidence he gave to its inquiry.

It said Gregory had “appeared rather indifferent to the plight of the client; we expect more from those contracting with government and receiving funds from the taxpayer”.

However, Gregory told the committee that Atos was delivering just one of eight component parts of the project and did not have visibility of the end-to-end programme.

Costs for the overall GPES project ballooned from £14m to £40m, with Atos’ costs rising from £8m to £11m.

Atos is believed to currently have contracts worth £500m with central government, and also has a number of case studies involving local government on its website.

A spokesperson for Atos said: “We look forward to working with the Cabinet Office with whom we have a transparent and open relationship and we look forward to maintaining our green rating for delivery across Whitehall.”​

Colin Marrs

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