Feeds

Top IT bods bail out of new Universal Credit online dole system

'As you would expect, with 6 months until go', says gov

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Department for Work and Pensions has strenuously denied that its Universal Credit project will be derailed by the departure of key IT employees.

Universal Credit aims to overhaul Blighty's benefits system by merging six government handouts into one regular payment that can be claimed and managed online. It is due to go fully live by October 2013 after rounds of testing next April.

But this week the project's director Malcolm Whitehouse, a British Computer Society fellow, has been replaced by Hilary Reynolds. When asked about her IT credentials, a department spokesman simply told The Reg:

She is a senior civil servant with over 25 years experience in the public sector here and in New Zealand. She is currently responsible for benefits delivery in DWP [Department for Work and Pensions].

Steve Dover, who headed up the DWP's big IT projects, has also moved on. On his LinkedIn page, Dover described his now axed role as "corporate director responsible for the detailed design and delivery of all business & IT products for the Universal Credit Programme".

He was involved in the development of the government scheme for six years, and boasted he has worked on projects that exceeded a total value of £3bn.

However, the DWP admitted there is no key IT individual now solely steering the implementation of the Universal Credit system. Instead, the department's recently installed CIO Philip Langsdale "takes an overarching look" at the project, we were told.

Here's the official word from the department, headed by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith:

With the early roll out of Universal Credit starting in less than six months time, the programme is moving from system design to delivery. As you would expect, there have been some staff changes to reflect this shift in focus onto implementation.

Meanwhile, senior civil servant Terry Moran - who has been instrumental in the implementation of Universal Credit - is on sick leave.

A DWP spokesman told us that "the first part of the project is done" and added that, as with the private sector, different people are needed at different stages of an IT programme.

As well as the new handout system, the DWP has been tasked with overseeing the £30m procurement of technology to process and store the identities of citizens for departments across the government. Universal Credit, which will juggle 21 million claimants in the UK, is due to be the first project to rely on the identity services farmed out to the private sector. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?