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The All Work Test is reformed and renamed the Personal Capability Assessment, and is outsourced to SEMA, which would be taken over by Atos.

What: The task of running the PCA was contracted out to SEMA, which would be bought out by Schlumberger in 2001. SchlumbergerSema would then be taken over by the French corporation Atos Origin in 2004. This process would make Atos the sole provider of the government’s assessment contracts. In 2005, Atos would win a £500 million contract to carry out the assessments for the next five years (it would win a further three-year extension in 2010 and then another extension that would take it to 2015).

Why significant: Shows the rise of Atos as the government’s assessment provider of choice. As for the PCA, Professor Jonathan Rutherford would say later: ‘The emphasis would no longer be on benefit entitlement but on what a person was able to do and the action needed to support them in work.’


'New Labour, the market state, and the end of welfare', Jonathan Rutherford
'Atos Origin acquisition of SchlumbergerSema: Creating a European IT Leader and World Player', Atos
'The role of major contractors in the delivery of public services', National Audit Office