An IT system designed to support the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Work Programme is still not fully functional, despite the scheme having been launched in June last year.
According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), it had been planned that the computer system would be up and running by January this year.
However, delays in specifying the requirements meant that the upgrades to the existing system fell four months behind.
The delays mean that the DWP currently cannot carry out automatic checks to confirm that people who have found work have stopped claiming benefits, exposing the system to the risk of losses through fraud and error.
The NAO said: “The department plans to complete retrospective checks on all job outcome and sustainment payments, and to adjust subsequent payments.”
It is estimated that automatic checks will not be able to be made until March at the earliest.