Child Support Agency’s computer system woes

March 10, 2011

The Child Support Agency is a government department you would expect to have a modern, efficient computer system like any other. These days, almost all information is processed through computers, however it seems the Child Support Agency is having serious computer problems – far from what you would expect from such an organisation.

In fact, these problems run very deep, and are costing an extra £40 million a year as a result. This money is being spent because, instead of being processed digitally, claims are, in fact, often being processed by hand, which is substantially more time consuming and costly.

When processed by the CSA’s computer system (the CS2 IT system from HP), claims cost somewhere around £200 to process. However, when done by hand, they cost somewhere around £400 – double what the cost should be. The CS2 system is blighted by failures, and in fact the number of claims that are thought to have been affected by these failures is just under 100,000.

In 2009, it was decided (by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, which is the parent organisation to the CSA) that the current system would be replaced, although this has not happened yet. The new system, when it is introduced, will address the current problems and will feature state-of-the-art components to ensure reliability.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said that the new system will be “tried and tested” and will be the kind of software that has proven so efficient within the private sector.

Comments

  • CSA Nightmare says:

    The “New” computer system is being designed by a company called TCS.

    Where I work, TCS have been appointed to develop some software, and so far has been a complete disaster!

    They seem to be useless at getting the software to work, or even understand what it is that is required!!

    If the CSA/CMEC expect the software to work, and be delivered on time, and to budget…..they are completely deluded!! It is destined to be the 3rd big White Elephant…yet another waste of public money on a department that isn’t fit for purpose! When will the government realise this!

  • John says:

    Call me sceptical, but this suits CSA staff down to the ground.

    They are trying their best to hang onto their jobs, probably by sabotaging the computer system, making it unworkable in order that a fully staffed manual system is required.

    How can £40 million pounds a year be justified?

    CSA Hell, should raise the history of the shambolic system of the CSA, with the government, and ask for alternative solutions to the ‘shambles’ known as the CSA!

  • mark townhill says:

    It is time that the csa scum were dismantled. Also held for manslaughter. They have caused hundreds of suicides. Out with the scum

  • >