Feeds

UK's £500m web dole queue project director replaced after JUST 4 months

DWP sidelines Universal Credit IT overseer Hilary Reynolds

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Exclusive The Department for Work and Pensions has replaced the project director of Universal Credit, its £500m web-based benefits system, days after denying it's suffering an IT management crisis.

Project director Hilary Reynolds will be moved sideways and her role filled by David Pitchford, Universal Credit's chief executive. Pitchford was hired in February as a replacement for Philip Langsdale, who died over the Christmas period.

The DWP told El Reg in an official statement this morning:

David Pitchford's role as chief executive for Universal Credit effectively combines the senior responsible officer and programme director (Hilary's post) roles. As a result, Hilary Reynolds will now move onto other work.

However, a spokeswoman at the DWP denied that Reynolds - a senior civil servant who has more than 25 years' experience in the public sector in Britain and New Zealand - would be told to leave Iain Duncan Smith's work and pensions department.

"She's finishing up her work on Universal Credit and handing over and then moving on to a new role," the spokeswoman told the Reg. She was unable to tell us how long the handover to Pitchford would take.

Reynolds replaced Brit Computer Society fellow Malcolm Whitehouse in November 2012. At the time, the DWP ducked El Reg's line of questioning on Reynolds' past IT experience.

Just last week, dole office bosses were forced to deny allegations that the Universal Credit project was in crisis after Labour MPs claimed that some workers implementing the new IT system had downed tools.

Work and pensions minister Mark Hoban described the allegations as a "red herring" and insisted that the programme was on track. He said:

We have made clear our plan for a gradual roll-out for new claimants from October 2013. We have always said that the progressive roll-out of new claims across the country would begin in October 2013. That is a simple restatement of what we have always intended to do.

Universal Credit aims to overhaul Blighty's dole office by merging six government handouts into one regular payment, which can be claimed and managed online. It is due to go fully live by October 2013 after rounds of testing, due to start next month. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.