Criticising ATOS – and Others, A4E onwards?
From Louise’s Blog:
I posted about this a week ago. It seems Carer Watch’s forum has been reinstated. Atos contacted the internet providers who closed the forum down. It seems it’s because of a post someone wrote way back in March!! Er, why wait this long to say anything……????
One point that seems overlooked in debates about outsourcing public sector work to private companies is the use of commercial confidentiality and the defamation laws to protect these firms from public criticism and accountability? Criticise the DWP for always being incompetent at something? While in a democracy the citizen can say what he or she wants to about the government. Say the same thing about the outsourcing company that takes over the same function? Be careful you are not damaging their reputation which they view as you attacking their corporate private property. Want to know ho much they spend on consultants? Perhaps how any of these consultants were former politicians or senior civil servants? How much time to they spend monitoring what is said about them on the internet? Commercially confidential information each time.
I can’t help wondering if this has wider implications.
After all, we criticise Saint Emma Harrison, CBE, and other companies making a tidy sum out of the unemployed.
Will they try to shut us down?