Universal Credit, the government’s flagship welfare reform project, was announced by work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith at the Conservative party conference in 2010. The government said it aimed to merge six benefits into one single monthly payment by 2015.
First off: Steven Dover. While not technically the ‘boss’ of Universal Credit, he acted as ‘corporate director’ of Universal Credit since its launch. He was taken off the project in November 2012.
He had been at the DWP since 2006 after stints at companies such as ITNet (now owned by Serco) and Capita. He has now returned to the private sector and is currently programme director at Arvarto.
2. Terry Moran
Moran was ‘director general’ of Universal Credit for about a year from its inception in December 2010. He also took on the role of chief operating officer of the department in October 2011.
In autumn 2012 Moran had to take an extended period of sick leave. He retired from the civil service in March 2013.
3. Malcom Whitehouse
Whitehouse acted as ‘programme director’ helping to design the initial pilots of Universal Credit for a year from October 2011 to October 2012. He left the civil service three months after stepping down from the programme. He has since held roles as CIO for Help for Heroes and RSA insurers.
ComputerworldUK asked the DWP for a photo but the department said they "don’t have pictures of former staff on file".
4. Philip Langsdale
With Moran ill, DWP CIO Langsdale stepped in to lead Universal Credit – or become its ‘senior responsible owner’ (SRO) in Whitehall jargon – in November 2012.
Shiplee was drafted in to lead Universal Credit with much fanfare in May 2013. He had held a number of significant roles in construction, including a six year stint in charge of the building of the Olympic Park.
Couling took over as Universal Credit chief in September. He has worked at the DWP for his entire life in various roles, more recently as ‘work services director’ responsible for UK jobcentres, closely involved in helping to design and deliver Universal Credit.