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Tony Collins

Tony Collins is an investigative and campaigning journalist and former Executive Editor at Computer Weekly. With his friend and colleague David Bicknell he wrote "Crash", which found common factors in the world's largest public and private sector IT-related failures. He wrote "Open Verdict", a book on the strange deaths of defence scientists. He writes, and gives talks, on the tensions and disputes between suppliers and users.

Is Universal Credit deliverable? Internal report now published

A DWP report on whether Universal Credit is deliverable is published

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The Department for Work and Pensions refused my request under the Freedom of Information Act for the Universal Credit Starting Gate review report to be published. It also turned down my appeal saying that publication was not in the public interest.

Separately MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, requested a copy of the report. Ian Watmore, Chief Operating Officer at the Cabinet Office agreed to supply a copy to the committee. Thank you to Bacon and Watmore for the report. 

It is a pity that the DWP appears to shun the coalition's move towards open government. It should not take an MP's request, and the intervention of the Cabinet Office's COO, for the DWP to release (and then only to the House of Commons' Library)  a copy of an internal report on how hundreds of millions of pounds of public money is being spent.

The Treasury defines the Starting Gate review as a report on the "deliverability of major new policy and/or business change initiatives prior to public commitment to a project".

The report is dated March 2011. No later assessment of the IT aspects of Universal Credit is available. UC is the government's biggest IT-based project based on agile principles.


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