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Benefits Agency Medical Service

EDM number 701 in 1996-97, proposed by Alan Howarth on 19/03/1997.

That this House deplores the Government's decision to contract out the Benefits Agency Medical Service to the private sector without Parliamentary debate on the role and accountability of the contractors; in particular the contracting-out of the decision-making 'adjudication' function; believes that contracting-out of the assessment of disability benefits affecting over six million people and concerning a budget of almost ú16 billion is a policy development of such magnitude that there should be Parliamentary scrutiny of the scope of the service to be contracted out and the terms of the contract being offered; is extremely concerned that there should be safeguards to ensure the confidentiality and limited use of sensitive personal information, especially where private companies may have commercial interests in a data bank of claimant information or may already have access to other data bases with which to cross-reference this information; notes the inadequacy of Parliamentary procedures for the accountability of any public service which is contracted out to the private sector; notes the delay in implementing the original timetable for this particular contractorisation; calls for a halt to the process until there has been a full Parliamentary debate on how value for money is to be obtained and on how the quality of service is to be maintained and improved; and calls on Her Majesty's Government to undertake urgent consultation on this matter with organisations representing disabled people.

This motion has been signed by a total of 14 MPs.

Alan Howarth19/03/1997Stratford-on-AvonProposed
Lynne Jones20/03/1997Birmingham, Selly OakSigned
Ken Livingstone20/03/1997Brent EastSigned
Liz Lynne20/03/1997RochdaleSigned
Lawrence Cunliffe20/03/1997LeighSigned
Ian Davidson20/03/1997Glasgow, GovanSigned
Bill Etherington20/03/1997Sunderland NorthSigned
Andrew Faulds20/03/1997Warley EastSigned
Norman Godman20/03/1997Greenock and Port GlasgowSigned
John Gunnell20/03/1997Leeds South and MorleySigned
Mike Hall20/03/1997Warrington SouthSigned
Harry Barnes20/03/1997North East DerbyshireSigned
Hugh Bayley20/03/1997York, City ofSigned
Dennis Turner20/03/1997Wolverhampton South EastSigned

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