This report concludes that the Department for Work and Pensions has not achieved value for money in its early implementation of Universal Credit. The Department was overly ambitious in both the timetable and scope of the programme, took risks to try to meet the short timescale and used a new project management approach which it had never before used on a programme of this size and complexity. It was unable to explain how it originally decided on its ambitious plans or evaluated their feasibility. Nor did it have any adequate measures of progress. Over 70 per cent of the Ap425 million spent to date has been on IT systems, and Ap34 million of its new IT systems has been written off. The existing systems offer limited functionality - the current IT system lacks a component to identify potentially fraudulent claims so that the Department has to rely on multiple manual checks on claims and payments. Problems with the IT system have delayed national roll-out of the programme, which will reduce the expected benefits of reform and - if the 2017 completion date remains - increase risks by requiring the rapid migration of a large volume of claimants. The source of many problems has been the absence of a detailed view of how Universal Credit is meant to work. In addition, poor control and decision-making undermined confidence in the programme and contributed to a lack of progress. The Department has particularly lacked IT expertise and experienced frequent changes in senior management.... Capgemini, January 2013; and Reset IT stocktake, April 2013 Departmental IT Assessment against the Universal Credit Blueprint, May ... Pathfinder was not designed for scaling up without substantial change and IT investment and pathfinder IT platform is not strategic and ... 1 IDA (Identity Assurance): ensures that all digital public service users can assert their identities safely, securely and simply; IRISanbsp;...
|Title||:||National Audit Office: Universal Credit: Early Progress - HC 621|
|Author||:||Great Britain: National Audit Office|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2013-09-05|