Top 5 From This Section
- UK economy growing thanks to Chinese companies
- U.S. retail holiday sales up 2.3%
- This Thanksgiving iPhone was the buyer No1 among phones
- The Netherlands has the best healthcare in the Europe
- Aviation industry in need of wake up call over safety
Don't Miss Most Read
- Time to visit Lucerne
- For a polio-free world
- Akamai to buy Prolexic for $370 million
- Gothenburg the access city of 2014
- Two U.S. companies to build solar farms in Ethiopia
- The story of Tallinn
- Sweet time in Quebec City
- The white beauty
- Bigger, better and more exclusive
- The spirit of water
- It suits you well, Sir
- Bacillus Tilia: Hi-Fi headphone amplifier and a designer's piece
- Fujifilm X-E2 camera with the world's fastest AF speed
- It's not so heavy. It was too heavy - Hernia
- UN expert: Argentina should audit foreign debt
- Chinese manufacturing PMI stays at 18-month high
- India's going to visit Mars
- Underground tunnel protects Japanese city from floods
Download Windows Gadget
UK Universal Credit overly ambitiousMonday 9 September 2013 08:52 CEST
The UK's National Audit Office said 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".
The Department is not yet able to assess the value of the systems it spent over 300 million pounds to develop and has been forced to delay the national roll-out of the programme to claimants.
Universal Credit is a significant reform to welfare in the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions intends that it will replace six means-tested benefits for working age households. The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government.
Thte report concludes that the Department was overly ambitious in both the timetable and scope of the programme. The Department 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.
Given the tight timescale, unfamiliar project management approach and lack of a detailed plan, it was critical that the Department should have good progress information and effective controls. In practice the Department did not have any adequate measures of progress.
In early 2013, the Department was forced to stop work on its plans for national roll-out and reassess its options for the future. The programme still has potential to create significant benefits for society, but the Department must scale back its delivery ambition and set out realistic plans.
More than 70 percent of the 425 million pounds spent to date has been on IT systems. The Department, however, has already written off 34 million pounds of its new IT systems and does not yet know if they will support national roll-out.
The existing systems offer limited functionality. For instance, 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. Such checks will not be feasible or adequate once the system is running nationally. Problems with the IT system have delayed national roll-out of the programme.
The Department will not introduce Universal Credit for all new claims nationally in October 2013 as planned, and is now reconsidering its plans for full roll-out. Instead, it will extend the pilots to six more sites with these new sites taking on only the simplest claims.
Delays to the roll-out will reduce the expected benefits of reform and – if the Department maintains a 2017 completion date – increase risks by requiring the rapid migration of a large volume of claimants.