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Universal Credit IT system ‘vulnerable to fraud’, warn MPs

Derek du Preez | April 4, 2013
The project underpinning the government’s welfare reforms has hit a number of challenges

It was also recently revealed that only one of the four planned pilot areas for Universal Credit will go live in April as planned, which has raised doubts about the success of implementation so far and whether timelines will be stuck to.

Ashton-under-Lyne will be the only Jobcentre in the country to trial the new system from 29th April, with Wigan, Warrington and Oldham only going live in the beginning of July. A progressive national rollout is planned from October, with the project due to complete by 2017.

Computerworld UK also revealed last month that although DWP had originally planned to roll out all of the technology to these pilot areas to calculate claimants' Universal Credit benefit, sources close to the project have said that Job Centres will actually be manually carrying out the final calculations.

A claimant will only be able to book an appointment at a job centre in the selected areas using the new system, but when they come to claim Universal Credit in person, the calculations of the benefit will be carried out on spreadsheets.


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