Feeds

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

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

High performance access to file storage

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But this week the project's director Malcolm Whitehouse, a British Computer Society fellow, has been replaced by Hilary Reynolds.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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.