The poor folk of Cumbria have enough to deal with at the present time and the fact that Atos has the contract for providing the IT Services for decommissioning their local Sellafield nuclear plant is probably fairly well down the list of their concerns. But when the floods have subsided and some semblance of normality returns the one constant in their lives along with the rest of us is the relentless march of unaccountable Corporate interests.
Atos has a well-documented track record of public sector failures including the spectacular termination of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) contract for the Department of Work and Pensions and the failure of a critical UK Border Agency IT system. Considering one of the criteria for awarding public contracts such as this one for nuclear decommissioning contain elements such as technical capability and experience, the fact that contracts continue to get awarded to these companies is a mystery. Significantly, it is also a mystery to MPs as the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has been heavily critical of the Government in this report (see Section 2 from Page 9 onwards). The fact that nothing has changed is an indictment of our system of democracy.