MPs probe work and pensions IT


MPs probe work and pensions IT

James Rogers

MPs are to undertake an official inquiry into IT projects at the Department for Work and Pensions, it was announced last week.

A sub-committee set up by the Work and Pensions Select Committee will scrutinise IT initiatives at the department, which is overseeing the controversial technology overhaul at the Child Support Agency.

Headed by Liberal Democrat MP Archy Kirkwood, the sub-committee's remit will extend to the department's agencies.

The DWP has come under increasing pressure following IT problems reported at the CSA, which functions as an executive agency of the department.

Officials at the Public and Commercial Services Union have warned MPs that the CSA's new IT system is causing "significant problems" for customers and staff. Designed to help implement the government's child support reforms, the system went live earlier this year, nearly 12 months behind schedule.

MPs on the select committee are also keen to examine the government's contract with EDS for the new CSA IT system, although the department will only provide this with the "commercial in confidence" parts taken out.

The DWP has some of the largest computer systems in the world, handling an estimated seven billion transactions a year. The sub-committee will publish the timetable for its inquiry into the department in the autumn.

Problems at the CSA >>

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