Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship scheme to replace the current welfare system, is beset by “weak management, ineffective control and poor governance” according to a National Audit Office report. Millions of pounds have been wasted – £34m on ineffective IT systems alone, which the DWP has had to write-off. A total of £304m has been spent so far on a system which has “limited functionality” and the implementation of the scheme has been beset by delays. The highly critical report has led to accusations that the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has covered up the real scale of the problems, which could now be delayed beyond 2017. Smith, insists that the project is on time and on budget and that he had dealt with the issues outline in the report earlier this year.
Liam Byrne, Shadow Work and Pension Secretary, called the handling of the scheme a “Titanic-sized IT disaster”.
Source: The Guardian, 05/09/13