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Social care minister defends confidentiality

The Social Care Minister is defending his decision not to reveal in the House of Keys the cost of appointing Atos Healthcare to conduct personal capability assessments with long-term claimants of incapcity benefits.

Chris Robertshaw says the information is commercially sensitive and Atos are four months into a six-month trial period.

The organisation has been heavily criticised in the U.K. for a number of years over various matters including employing a simplified questionaire which fits all cases, the length of the interviews and the stress people are put under.

Mr. Robertshaw says the Manx Government has sat back until the procedure was refined and problems ironed out.

And he says he still believes strongly that a Freedom of Information Act needs to introduced to the island, despite not giving details on the costs to the department in employing Atos Healthcare:-

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