Private Eye No 1378
31 October 2014
“As disgraced outsourcing company ATOS stops carrying out the government’s controversial fitness-for-work tests following a barrage of complaints the Dept for Work and Pensions has given the multi-million pound contract to a firm with a far worse track record.
US-based MAXIMUS has apparently beaten CRAPita to win the “work capability health assessments”. Only 3 months ago MAXIMUS also won the £133 Mill 5 year deal to run the government’s new ‘health and welfare’ service – a kind of over-the-phone occupational health assessment aimed at getting anyone who is off sick for four weeks or more back into their work station. (What about those who are in the midst of cancer treatment? That takes about 12 months)
In the US MAXIMUS has an unenviable reputation for fraud and incompetence. It was relatively unknown over here when in June 2012 it first secured contracts worth £176 Mill to run IDS’s Work Program in London and the South East. Back then the Eye reported how in 2007 MAXIMUS has been fined $30.5 Mill over claims that it cheated US Medicaid, the state funded health scheme by making tens of thousands of false claims for children in foster care. (Hmmm those poor children scammed and abused by the state 24/7) Three years later it settled another claim for $2.5 Mill for failures of its computer system for a police database and “short-changing law enforcement agencies.
Since then MAXIMUS has done little to enhance its reputation. Last year US Government auditors found that Wisconsin State (thanks to MAXIMUS’s advice) had improperly over-claimed Medicaid to the tune of $39 Mill. MAXIMUS was paid a fee based on how much revenue the state collected.” page 32