DLA TO PIP MEDICAL BONANZA
Disability living allowance (DLA) claimants have been divided into four regional lots and are being sold off to ten shortlisted bidders – including multinational security companies - for the purpose of being medically assessed for personal independence payment.
A fifth, nationwide lot is also up for grabs, but the DWP have said they do not intend to use this contract unless things go wrong with regional suppliers.
PIP is due to begin replacing DLA for working age claimants from spring next year, with all current DLA claimants having to be reassessed for the new benefit. The contracts for PIP medicals are worth up to a billion pounds in total and have attracted the attention of many multinational companies.
Amongst the bidders through to the final round in all four regions is the increasingly heavily criticised Atos, who will undoubtedly be hoping that their LIMA software will give them the edge over their rivals.
Relative newcomers to the scene are security guards G4S, who have also been shortlisted for every contract. Their forensic medical arm, though more used to helping catch rapists and paedophiles, won a small contract to pilot PIP assessments last year. In 2010, three G4S security guards were bailed after the death, whilst they were restraining him, of an Angolan refugee being deported from Heathrow.
Serco, another company with a heavy security presence, have been shortlisted for Northern Ireland. Amongst many other contracts, Serco run prisons, detention centres and immigration removal centres in the UK and abroad. In Australia, a Serco training manual is alleged to have taught employees how to use pain, including punches and kicks, to subdue asylum seekers.
Capita, which runs the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office and is invariably referred to as ‘Crapita’ by Private Eye, has also been shortlisted for all regions. The company has been involved in a number of less than successful public service contracts in the past, including Individual Learning Accounts which were subject to fraudulent claims on an unprecedented scale and which were shut down after just one year.
Other potential providers include Avanta, Ingeus Deloitte, APM UK, Reed In Partnership and Vertex.
A4E, currently mired in fraud investigations, did not make it through to any of the shortlists.
We’ll bring you news of the successful bidders as soon as it becomes available. More details of the contract are available from the DWP website.