THE firm which assesses whether people should receive disability benefits has been criticised as unfit to be a sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Scottish Labour conference has heard.
Atos should be “binned” from its role in providing management and IT systems at the games next year, Labour party members heard at their Scottish conference in Inverness.
Its role was defended by Archie Graham, the Glasgow councillor responsible for delivering the games, who said Atos is particularly good at organising IT infrastructure.
Marie Garrity, of Unison, said: “Atos are a pernicious organisation who profit from inflicting suffering on the poor.
“Let’s not give them the opportunity to use our Games as a chance to try to pass themselves off as decent corporate citizens.
“Let’s keep the pressure on the Scottish Government and the Games organisers to bin Atos as sponsors.
“That way we can have a Commonwealth Games that we can all be proud of.”
Criticism was also raised by a delegate who described herself as a disability activist.
“As a disabled person, I’m really upset about Atos involvement,” she said, seeking an assurance that their role will be treated cautiously by organisers.
Responding to her, Mr Graham said: “They are particularly good at organising IT infrastructure.
“You can be absolutely assured we’ll be working very hard to ensure that Atos won’t use the fact they have a connection with the Games in any inappropriate way whatsoever.”
Atos says it collects information from assessments designed by the UK Department of Work and Pensions and does not make decisions on an individuals’ entitlement to benefit.