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Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission about its future information technology strategy. [HL633]

The part played by IT systems in the difficulties experienced by the CSA is well documented. The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is currently undertaking a major programme which includes the development and deployment of new information technology and systems. The new IT systems are intended to provide significant improvements in efficiency and in client experience, overcoming the shortcomings of the existing systems.

The strategy for these new systems was based upon some initial feasibility work and upon the proposals of Tata Consulting Services (TCS), which was appointed in March 2009 to design and build these systems. Rather than build bespoke applications, the commission's IT strategy is based on commercial off-the-shelf packages, which are widely used in banking and other industries, which it is configuring and integrating. This will ensure that it maximises the re-use of existing and proven functionality while ensuring that it meets specific needs.

Given that the commission has selected to adhere to the hosting, network, desktop, application maintenance and service integration strategies of the Department for Work and Pensions, relevant parts of its IT strategy were discussed with the department. In addition, the commission's future systems programme has been reviewed by the Office of Government Commerce and the department's Risk Assurance Division. The commission has also discussed its IT strategy with other government departments in the context of its plans to interface with their data and systems.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their forecast of the annual capital cost of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's information technology system over the next three years. [HL634]

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission currently expects to capitalise around £8 million of its forecast expenditure, based on current plans, on the IT systems supporting the new child maintenance scheme in the three-year period from 2010-11 to 2012-13 inclusive. Of the £8 million, £6.7 million is expected to be capitalised in 2010-11 with the remaining £1.3 million to be capitalised in 2011-12.