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Child Support Agency: ICT

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of the progress of Child Support Agency IT upgrade initiatives. (160371)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 25 October 2007:

In reply to your Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the progress of Child Support Agency IT upgrade initiatives. [160371]

The Agency introduced a three year Operational Improvement Plan in 2006; in the first year concentrating on improving customer service and building capacity and capability within the organisation and in the second year focusing on resolving the remaining IT difficulties and increasing compliance and enforcement. Although a great deal of work has already been carried out to improve the stability of the new computer system and operational performance has improved, the Agency plans to make a major IT upgrade within the second year of the OIP, which ends in March 2008.

This upgrade will primarily provide system support for the Agency’s new operating model, which introduced client lifecycle segmentation, enabling the Agency to better target its resources to make more difference for more children. The Agency has also developed a new training programme, which will better support its people to make the best use of the improving IT system. This programme will ensure that training can be delivered where and when it is required.

In the final year of the Operational Improvement Plan the Agency aims to reap the benefits of the restructuring, adding incremental system functionality, consolidating the improvements and aiming to collect more than 1bn in maintenance for children.

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