The Child Support Agency (CSA) is spending millions processing child maintenance claims by hand because of failures in its computer systems.
About 94,000 claims are being processed by hand at the CSA, a figure that is rising by 10,000 a year and costing the agency twice the amount to process, said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Some £74m a year is being spent to patch the agency's two computer systems, reported The Sun.
The CSA computer systems became notoriously defective during the past decade, causing some cases to disappear from its records. A second database was then built to address this problem. However, following data migration issues, a further third database was developed, which now involves staff having to hand process claims.
A single IT system, based on tried and tested off-the-shelf software packages, is to be rolled out in 2012. "This is expected to deliver significant cost savings and a better service, including 'self-service' web access," said a DWP spokesman.