Universal Credit Implementation: Monitoring DWP's Performance In 2012-13
HC 1209, Fifth Report of Session 2013-14 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating To The Report
- House of Commons - Work and Pensions Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
There remains worrying uncertainty about the new Universal Credit (UC) IT system according to the report 'Universal Credit Implementation: Monitoring DWP's Performance In 2012-13 (HC 1209)', this includes how it will work, how much it will cost, and who will develop it.
National roll-out of UC was due to begin in October 2013, but problems with IT systems meant that major changes to the implementation timetable were made in July, and again in December 2013. Currently UC claims are still limited to 10 Pathfinder Jobcentres. New claims are not expected to be extended to the whole of Great Britain until 2016, and the bulk of existing claimants will not move over to UC until 2016-17.
Only 4,280 people were claiming Universal Credit by December 2013 and the majority of these claims were of the simplest nature. By comparison, in the same month 1.22 million people were claiming Jobseekers Allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is developing a new 'end-state solution' for UC IT, which will eventually replace the IT system currently in use in the UC Pathfinders. This is costing £25-32 million to develop up to November 2014, with no indication of how much more it will cost in the long-term.
The Government has hampered the Committee's scrutiny of UC implementation by not providing accurate, timely and detailed information; and there is a lack of detail on how support for vulnerable people being provided in partnership with local authorities, housing providers and the voluntary sector will operate.
Delays to UC implementation mean that local authorities will now administer housing benefit for much longer than anticipated.
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