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News: Parliamentary Work & Pensions Committee recalling IDS on Monday for grilling on Universal Credit v3.0

January 30, 2014

Today it has been announced that the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee is recalling IDS on Monday (3rd Feb 2014) to grill him in detail on the money wasted so far on Universal Credit (v1.0 written off and v2.0, the temporary fix) and why the new ‘digital solution’ (a.k.a. v3.0) will succeed when the previous two versions have failed to deliver…


Last year a wrangle between the NAO and the DWP delayed the sign-off of DWP’s accounts by 6 months.  The accounts were finally sent to MPs just a few days before the Work & Pensions committee hearing where the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, revealed that £303m had been spent on developing the IT, and that £40m will be written off now, with £91m to be written off over the next 3 years with temporary IT used only until 2017.

Under close cross-examination by Teresa Pearce MP, he further explained that a further £107m of IT expenditure was not ‘capitalised’ at all leaving no useful software asset. 

Anecdotal evidence is appearing that private landlords are turning away claimants that will be put onto the new monthly credit as they will not receive direct payments from DWP.  (See my TV interview here)

Since then the DWP has announced that it will be developing totally new IT a ‘Universal Credit 3.0’ if you will. I understand that DWP now feels it can do without the Cabinet Office experts from GDS who worked so closely with them for 3 months recently to produce a ‘proof of concept’ of Universal Credit v3.0 – a video demo that was showcased first on this Blog here.

But the saga continues, with the GDS ‘geeks in sandals’ being barred from DWP’s ‘fortress’ Caxton House HQ, and DWP is now trying to recruit an internally managed team to continue the build of Universal Credit v3.0 without further GDS involvement.

With only 2,500 claimants live on Universal Credit v2.0 so far after 9 months of live running, IDS will be explaining the costs of Universal Credit implementation, including IT expenditure and why the new ‘digital solution’ (a.k.a. v3.0) will succeed when the previous two versions have failed to deliver.

My Tweet:



From → Agile Governance

  1. Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

  2. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    IDS v WPC Part Three – shortly to be renamed Total (Lack Of) Recall!
    Coming soon to a committee room in Westminster – and I can’t wait!

  3. AM-FM permalink

    “Anecdotal evidence is appearing that private landlords are turning away claimants”

    It’s quite a bit more than anecdotal:

  4. Well historically any IT scheme the government indulges in comes in late over budget and doesn’t work the way it should do. This is no different but they never learn, add to that the fact that everything IDS touches turns to dust and we have a scheme that was never going to help anyone but the it provider.

  5. beastrabban permalink

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  6. Brian
    So that video demo took 12 people 3 months to build = 750 man days and it does not deliver a value of end benefit(s) statement? No essential “backoffice” calculations etc? No wonder DWP dropped the GDS team! If any one interested here is my take on what “user needs” is really about when delivering a service
    Of course putting users first is right – a sound marketing phrase that is too easy to say but in reality in enterprise software is a lot more than “design” of a user interface. GDS have built expertise in doing that for information web sites but building “a digital” service is a whole different ball game.

    Historically enterprise software in all its forms was “system” centric and as a result users had to mould their action and needs to the “system”. As a result users resort to off line activity spreadsheets access database even post it notes! Over the past 15 years Business Process Management BPM emerged as the industry’s recognition of this “problem”. As ever in an industry that puts hype before reality early iterations were overhyped in actually delivery capabilities but this is changing as new players now can deliver on the requirements to cover all user needs internal and external.

    Here are all the requirements in software that are needed to “put users first”
    • Process engine – orchestrating as required to ensure all works to plan
    • Rules engine – reflecting real world of complexity andcompliance
    • Calculation engine – automating system work
    • State engine – real time feed back from any point
    • Workflow – everything connected in right order
    • Audit trail, events, escalations – managed control and accountability
    • Rapid prototyping – user involvement in build
    • Time recording – supports activity based costing
    • Real time reporting – become predictive
    • Prebuilt configurable dashboard – operational visibility
    • Build mash ups – one screen multiple data sources
    • Linked intelligent Ajax grids – enter data only once
    • Roles and performers – people and machines indentified
    • Management hierarchy – see who does what and when reallocate work
    • Orchestrating legacy – recognising valuable data in legacy
    • User interface dynamically created – linking people, roles, task type and data via forms for specific instances recognising that user forms needs to be specific for that task in hand
    • Pre-built templates for custom documents, letters, e-mails, messages etc dynamically populated with instance specific data and edit capability in browser – automating yet giving users ultimate control over external communications
    • Process and task versioning control – recognising change is inevitable

    The supporting technology to do all this is now available without need to resort to custom coding. The speed and thus cost of build on any requirement is significant better than either custom coding or moulding a Custom Off The Shelf to the business.

    It is clear GDS just do not get this evidenced by their very poor “digital frameworks” which do not reflect such capability. Also recent the Minister in an interview on BBC radio reported by Campaign 4change I was amazed to learn that GDS spent 750 man days building a prototype for UC at DWP.. Using such a “BPM Platform” with such capabilities it would have been a fraction of that?

    • Of course much of their time was split between building a sexy looking prototype, and investigating the boring (but vital) back-office elements, like calculating and making money payments…

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