Exclusive: How the French are squabbling over the spoils they can make by privatising and removing jobs from Britain

Steria, the French IT company favoured by Whitehall and the NHS

Steria, the French IT company favoured by Whitehall and the NHS

An extraordinary battle is under way across the Channel between three big French IT companies who have a massive interest in British government contracts over the privatisation of Whitehall, town halls and the NHS including removing jobs from Britain to India.
Atos,hated by the disabled in Britain for its harsh policy in implementing Iain Duncan Smith’s policy of getting the disabled back to work, has made a hostile bid to take over Steria, the company chosen by the government to privatise NHS and Whitehall jobs and remove some to India.
Steria is trying to merge with Sopra, another French IT company,in a ” sweetheart deal ” to make big profits by combining new technology with removing jobs from Europe to India.
Steria is furious with Atos for what it calls ” disturbing ” its talks with Sopra. But Atos has left its lucrative offer on the table to tempt Steria shareholders
All this is revealed in a small report from the Paris reporters on the influential Bloomberg website over Easter.
For Atos the deal is simple. It a double whammy – they make money from Iain Duncan Smith’s privatisation of benefit medical tests and more money by offshoring jobs from Britain to India.
For the disabled not such good news, they are forced back into the job market say in Sheffield just at the point when jobs are being moved to India by the same company.
The deal merging Steria and Sopra is equally as good. the game is given away in a press release on Sopra’s website which reveals that it will create a three million Euro company, which could rapidly grow to four million Euros by economies of scale, more jobs shifted from Europe to India and a big jump in profit margins.
It says:”Sopra brings the power of its organisation in France, the strength of
its banking, human resources and real estate products and its effective application management model.
For its part, Steria brings its international reach (Europe and Asia) with a strong
positioning in the United Kingdom.”
“Industrial-scale production capacity would be significantly reinforced with an array of offshore and nearshore service centres representing a workforce of approximately 8,000 people,including over 6,000 in India.”
The company would be 35,000 strong with 8000 jobs in India and other offshore sites.
It also adds that “Steria would be able to leverage Sopra’s offshore capacity in India for its French clients.”
These include the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the NHS. Soon,no doubt to be joined by the Home Office and Ministry for Justice.
It predicts profit margins – currently 6.8 per cent for Sopra in the UK will soon top 10 per cent.
For ministers like Francis Maude, Jeremy Hunt and Iain Duncan Smith, this must be bliss – the French squabbling over the best way to make loads of money from their privatisation programmes. It is a global capitalist’s wet dream with even the prospect of a few non exec directorships for retiring Tory politicians when they leave office.
For the disabled, civil servants and those who believe in and want good local services with a public service ethos, it probably can’t be worse. How long before a disabled claimant denied benefit by Atos is told there is a good company vacancy in Pune, India so go and get the job.

Revealed: How Francis Maude and Chris Grayling are actively working to remove jobs from Britain to some risky terrorist destinations

Francis Maude: Actively encouraging off shoring Whitehall jobs

Francis Maude: Actively encouraging off shoring Whitehall jobs

David Cameron and George Osborne have been boasting how many new jobs their new economic recovery has created.

What they haven’t told you is that their Cabinet colleagues are actively working to strip Britain of existing jobs and replace them with new cheap skate jobs overseas, including some countries which have high risks of riots and terrorist attacks. And further the new jobs will mean the transfer of personal data on staff, possibly police and criminal records and the transfer of patient details from GP to GP to a foreign country.

I have written about this in Tribune magazine this weekend. But the two ministers are being very crafty – they are leaving it to a private company to sack the former civil servants and  transfer your records  and appointing a man who can hold both a Whitehall job and a private sector post at the same time to hand the companies the power to do it.


Peter Swann: the man enabling Steria to outsource jobs to his own company's high risk terrorist destination

Peter Swann: the man enabling Steria to outsource jobs to his own company’s high risk terrorist destination

The man is Peter Swann – or Peter S as he likes to hide under his Linked In entry unless you know him well. His entry shows he is currently Director of Crown Oversight at the Cabinet Office under Francis Maude and his job description according to his own Linked In Entry is “transforming the delivery of Civil Service back office functions to over 500,000 staff across the UK and in all Government Departments.”

 His other simultaneous job is  executive director of Aon Risk Solutions which in his words is famous for ” relocating corporate Head Office functions and aligning this strategy to Aon’s captive offshore arrangement and existing outsourcing contractual arrangements.”

 To put it simply he is an outsourcing and off shore fanatic whose company has had a 43 per cent rise in dividends this year. Incidently  his firm provides a Terrorist Tracking Tool and up to date world guide on the dangers of strikes, riots and terrorist attacks in dodgy foreign countries. Download the map here.

So it should be no surprise that within a year a French firm, Steria, have now taken over all the back room jobs for the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Environment Agency and is now looking at bidding for the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. Again the move is subtle, Whitehall has created a new UK company to do it, 75 per cent owned by the French. It came one year after the Department of Health ensured that Steria also took a majority holding in a NHS data  company providing the ” invisible information” through NHS Shared Business Services, including patient information to GPs and clinical recall services.

And now Steria is arranging that jobs currently in Newport, Cardiff, Sheffield and Leeds are destined to be replaced by ones abroad and staff in Newcastle, Blackpool,Peterborough and York are facing the sack. An analysis of Steria’s accounts – which they are required to disclose under EU law- reveals that they make the most money out of their British operations – but their biggest off shore operation is in India with lesser ones in Morocco and Poland. They also derive 39 per cent of their income from the public sector,

 So what will be Sheffield’s loss could well be Pune and Chennai in India’s gain. And here’s the irony  Peter Swann’s company, Aon, rates India as a high risk country for riots, commotion and terrorism, while Sheffield is low risk. It is also amazing that to save money our justice secretary, Chris Grayling, and Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, are quite happy for Steria to do what they like with our personal data. I bet they don’t take such risks with their own personal security. Perhaps both of them should be removed to exile in Pune.