Beleaguered Child Support Agency IT to be replaced by Tata Consultancy Services

Beleaguered Child Support Agency IT to be replaced by Tata Consultancy Services

Oracle Siebel based systems will replace EDS purpose-built IT

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The ill-fated IT at the Child Support Agency will be replaced by new systems put in place by Tata Consultancy Services.

The Indian outsourcer will implement systems based around Oracle Siebel customer relationship management and the TCS BaNCS banking software, for the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission which replaces the CSA. Other systems from Experian, Genysys, IBM and Oracle will also be used.

The value has not been disclosed but it is part of a £320 million operational improvement plan . The CMEC commission’s IT is intended to be fully running by 2011.

Systems at the CSA have experienced a string of IT failures. Its original £456 million IT system, set up by EDS, had 500 faults three years after it went live.

EDS also lost out this week on major government contracts to deliver the controversial ID cards programme.

Stephen Geraghty said it was a wise choice to use off-the-shelf systems this time around. “In learning the lessons of the past we will not attempt to 'reinvent the wheel' and order a single, purpose-built IT system.” The choice of TCS as supplier was partly based on the risk it was prepared to take on.

The collection and payment of child maintenance was “not dissimilar” from standard bank transactions, he said. The systems will handle case management, case assessment and payment calculations, automated scheduling of payments in and out, financial and arrears management and enforcement.

It was essential that IT issues no longer got in the way of parents trying to pay or receive child maintenance, he said.

Parents would now receive “much better” access to key information, including how much they owe or are due to receive, he said. Email and text message notifications will also be established to improve the information available.

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