Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for the National Audit Office (NAO) to investigate the decision by HM Revenue and Customs to award a contract to the controversial American outsourcing firm Concentrix.
Concentrix has incorrectly removed tax credits from thousands of single parents across the UK, creating unnecessary hardship for many of the most hard-pressed and vulnerable individuals.
Mr Carmichael is tabling a parliamentary motion demanding that the NAO look into the appropriateness of awarding the Concentrix contract, the conduct of the company in carrying it out and the full cost to the taxpayer. He is urging the government to change its stance on outsourcing of this type.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“I have been shocked to hear from people in the Northern Isles of the inhumane and wholly unprofessional conduct of Concentrix. This company is carrying out government business but has left a trail of misery and distress in their wake. I have never taken the view that government has to do everything but managing the tax credit system does seem like an obvious function to be carried out by HMRC.
“The National Audit Office should conduct an immediate Value for Money audit of Concentrix. Taxpayers need to know the full costs and receive assurances that their money will not be wasted in this way again, and those who have suffered at the hands of Concentrix require an apology at the very least.
“I hope my Early Day Motion in Parliament will gain the support of cross-party MPs who have heard similar tales of this company’s poor conduct and the impact on their constituents.”
Notes to editors. The proposed text of Alistair’s EDM is below. As the House is currently in recess this will not be officially tabled until 10 October at the earliest.
EDM : Concentrix – National Audit Office investigation
That this House calls on the National Audit Office (NAO) to investigate the decision to grant a government contract to American outsourcing firm Concentrix for the management of tax credits; expresses its deep concern at the conduct of Concentrix, which has included the incorrect removal of tax credits for thousands of single parents across the UK creating real hardship and struggle, and working on the basis of payment by results; welcomes the decision by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) not to renew the contract; calls on the NAO to conduct a Value for Money audit to examine the appropriateness of awarding the contract in the first instance, and the full cost to taxpayers of the contract and its termination; and urges HMRC to reconsider its approach to future outsourcing of contracts.