Two bits of news which could, loosely, come under the heading of openness.
The Guardian reports more "chaos" around an outsourcing company which could have a bearing on the behaviour of companies like A4e. The story is about Atos and its fitness-for-work tests. I hadn't realised that last year claimants were given the right to record their assessments so that they could ensure that their details were correctly registered. Thinking to save on the costs of all those appeals, the government told Atos to equip themselves with recorders. The firm has complied by buying just 11 (that's eleven). And most of those are broken. Chris Grayling thinks that's okay. However, if it's officially permitted (if very difficult) to record Atos assessments, maybe that opens the door to recording encounters with other companies which can have a very damaging impact on clients' lives.
The Exaro site reports that the Public Accounts Committee is demanding greater openness in outsourced public services contracts. They want "all data" disclosing, and for the companies (and charities) to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. At the moment all the stuff we should know is covered by "commercial confidentiality". The PAC's Chair, Margaret Hodge, cites the current G4S fiasco, and the fact that we don't know what penalty clauses were in the contract. While some MPs and civil servants like the idea, I'm doubtful whether this will get anywhere. There are simply too many vested interests.