Departmental ICT

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's (a) current and (b) planned IT programmes and projects are; and what the planned (i) budget and (ii) timescale of each is.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People; Minister for the South East), Department for Work and Pensions

Although the Department does not have any discrete IT projects, it has a number of projects and programmes that include changes to, or new, IT to a greater or lesser extent. We have included in the following table:

The projects and programmes currently on the Department's portfolio where the IT element of the project or programme results in the development and/or implementation of services that underpin the delivery of departmental business;

The investment costs of the project/programme. Costs of running the solutions implemented by the projects and programmes are not included as in the vast majority of cases they are more than compensated for by the financial benefits they generate.

Initiatives that are associated with ongoing system improvements or enhancements as part of business as usual have not been included.

For all programmes or projects the costs and reported completion dates relate to the total project or programme and not only the IT element.

Project Purpose (i) Latest forecast (£million) (ii) Planned timescale
Employment and Support Allowance The project delivers the systems, processes and training to support delivery of the new Employment and Support Allowance. 295 October 2008
Customer Information System(1) This project will deliver a database of key citizen information to be shared across DWP. The database will complement information currently available in the Department's key customer information systems, i.e. personal details computer system and departmental central index, and become their replacement. Consideration is being given for wider use of CIS by other Government Departments. 88 December 2008
Central Payments System A modern integrated central payment engine and accounts payable system to improve accounting for benefit/pension payments, reduce risks of service failure, increased speed and efficiency, and information for improved customer service and reduced fraud and error. 178 December 2011
Pensions Transformation Programme The programme will transform The Pension Service, bringing together business and IT change in ways that improve customer service and deliver efficiencies. 598 2010-11
Method of Payment Reform Programmes Method of Payment Reform Programmes will develop modern, electronic, secure and efficient methods of payments for customers who require payment by an alternate means other than direct payment to bank accounts. 48 March 2011
Lone Parent Obligations Lone Parents Obligations is part of welfare reform with the aim of increasing the lone parent employment rate. Currently lone parents are not required to seek employment until their youngest child reaches 16. Under new proposals to be phased in (starting with youngest child aged 12), lone parents will no longer be entitled to income support solely for being a lone parent if their youngest child is above seven. In the last year before entitlement ceases, work focused interviews will take place to encourage lone parents to take up training opportunities, leading to employment. 21 February 2011
Disability and Carers Service Change Programme This is an over-arching transformation programme for disabled people and their carers designed to move PDCS towards a business transformation that addresses people, partners, process, and puts the customer experience at the heart of their transformation plans, in line with the wider departmental strategy 69 March 2010
Pension Reform Delivery Programme To co-ordinate, manage and deliver a range of measures and consequential impacts which will establish a new structure for the UK Pension System long term. 118 December 2010
Document Repository Service This project seeks to support the Department's modernisation programmes through the provision of a document repository to store digitised images of documents received from customers (letters, faxes, e-mails etc.), cutting down paper in the organisation. 10 March 2009
Data Centre Strategy(2) The project is addressing the ongoing continued threat of business service continuity with a replacement strategy for Washington Data Centre. 33 April 2011
Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal This programme will replace and streamline the current New Deal programmes and will concentrate on tackling the challenging problems of those who remain unemployed despite a strong economy and historically low unemployment. The programme will include provision of obtaining skills and mandatory work experience for customers 19 October 2010
DWP Change Programme This programme brigades a number of complementary initiatives to deliver the DWP Business Vision. It includes projects to bring in continuous improvement using lean techniques which should allow greater customer focus and efficiency in our process and business improvement projects to allow greater access to information. 246 March 2011
Provider Referrals and Payment Project Deploy an IT system to automate and e-enable payment transactions between Jobcentre Plus and training providers. 18 June 2010
Local Services Integration programme(3) To provide local services with an IT solution that supports the end to end process making administration more efficient. 15 December 2011
Government connect(4) To roll out a secure data network connecting Government and local authorities, including secure file transfer, e-mail and web-browser capability 33 March 2011
(1 )Customer Information System (CIS)—The original expected completion date was March 2008 based on the date of the planned migration of Legacy Benefit System data. However, to minimise the risks associated with this approach a phased implementation was planned. The dates for this phased approach are:

Start of Migration—March 2008

Completion of phased rollout—June 2008

Final Technical Release—October 2008

Project closure—December 2008

(2 )Data Centre Strategy—The planned timescale for completion is April 2011. This was reported previously in error as end of 2010. The project plans are not delayed.

(3 )Local Services Integration Programme—this project is relatively new to the Department's Portfolio and is in addition to those published in the NAO Report on DWP IT programmes November 2008.

(4 )Government Connect—also a recent addition to the Department's portfolio since the NAO report. £33 million forecast spend are the total costs of this cross government programme—funded by DWP (£8 million), Communities and Local Government (£19 million) and Department for Children and Families (£6 million).

Note:

The Child Support Agency, Operational Improvement Programme was included in the NAO list of projects but is excluded here. On 1 November 2008, responsibility for the Child Support Agency was transferred from the Secretary of State for DWP to the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. The Commission is a Crown non-departmental public body (NDPB) which operates at arms length from the Department.

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