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The Green Party attacked the appointment of controversial "fit for work" firm Atos to run nuclear industry IT systems today as "foolhardy in the extreme."
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/124710 Don't let Atos near nuclear, Greens warn The Green Party attacked the appointment of controversial "fit for work" firm Atos to run nuclear industry IT systems today as "foolhardy in the extreme." Atos has been criticised repeatedly for its controversial role policing the government's back-to-work scheme, with people wrongly having their benefits slashed and being forced into employment despite being too ill to work. The firm also has a chequered history regarding previous government contracts. In 2008 Atos was subject to a government inquiry after it lost sensitive data along with passwords and user names for the Department of Work and Pensions computer systems. And earlier this year the head of the UK Borders Agency said that Atos was responsible for major disruptions in the Agency's IT systems, causing "significant delays and hardship" for those applying for in-country visas. But in a press statement the firm announced today that it had secured responsibility for the delivery of "significant aspects of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA's) IT services." The five-year, £140 million contract covers Sellafield, Magnox, National Nuclear Laboratories and Low Level Waste Repository. Responding to the announcement Green Party environment spokeswoman Penny Kemp told the Star: "We are astounded at this government's ability to employ companies which have been shown to be incompetent. "This is the very company which assessed terminally ill people as fit to work and has happily helped the government slash benefits from the most vulnerable in our society. "To trust them with the nuclear operation is foolhardy in the extreme." Atos said it anticipated that bringing "a diverse range of IT services into this arrangement" would deliver up to 30 per cent savings across the contracted services. Atos UK and Ireland CEO Ursula Morgenstern said: "This is an extremely important contract for Atos and we are delighted to be at the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the NDA estate." Nuclear workers' union Prospect representative Jez Stewart said: "Any efficiencies to be made through the more effective use of technology would be welcome. But if Atos is seeking to make savings at the expense of staff we need to see a convincing business case to back their claims." Would you like Atos to be fined for failure? https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/fine-atos-when-it-fails
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