The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) CIO Philip Langsdale is overseeing a major overhaul of the department’s flagship Universal Credit programme, according to senior Whitehall sources.
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The Universal Credit programme, which aims to simplify the benefits system, has seen a number of key figures leave the DWP project after the IT underpinning the project encountered problems.
Multiple sources have told Computer Weekly that the IT behind Universal Credit has hit major problems, with the £2.2bn project running significantly over budget. One of the project’s key IT suppliers has failed to deliver on the programme’s targets, sources told Computer Weekly.
Project chief Malcolm Whitehouse and business IT head Steve Dover, along with a number of senior figures and contractors have left the DWP project. More departures are also expected to occur.
Langsdale took the position of CIO at the DWP in August and has a history of turning around troubled IT projects.
Prior to that he was CIO at airport operator BAA, having joined the company in 2008 as part of a drive to improve London Heathrow after a series of IT blunders that had occurred during the opening of Terminal Five.
"There was no strategy for IT at BAA, we were undertaking a lot of tactical projects without strategic purpose or overall sense of architecture," Langsdale told Computer Weekly last year.
The DWP has not denied Universal Credit has encountered problems, but insists the project will be delivered on time and within budget.
"The development of the Universal Credit IT continues as planned,” said a spokeswoman.