The Universal Credit Story: second instalment

The first of the documents requested, the Project Assessment Review,  is now available at the Campaign for Change website.  This was prepared in November 2011, a year after the initial announcement of the policy.  This was still done at a very early stage.  The tribunal decision contains a brief summary of the progress, which puts this in context.

The review rates the project at ‘Amber Red’, and asks for a further review to take place in March/April 2012.  The key issues I’d pick out are these:

  •  … the Programme  is a  little behind where  it needs  to be.
  • Dependencies do not appear to be being consistently formally managed.
  • … the Programme  still  feels  very IT focused and does not seem to have embraced fully the transformational nature of the business change at all levels.

A week before the review, Iain Duncan Smith was declaring:  “The programme is on track and on time for implementing from 2013.”  He later told Parliament, on 5th September 2013:

In the summer of 2012—or rather, before that, in early 2012—I instigated an independent review because I was concerned that the leadership of the programme was not focusing in the way that it needed to on delivering the programme as it had been originally set out. The internal report showed me quite categorically that my concerns were right: the leadership was struggling, a culture of good news was prevailing and intervention was required.

That is consistent with what we read here, but not with the repeated public assurances that the programme was on time and in budget.

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