DWP spending on IT contractors rockets amid Universal Credit delays

Sentinel News

By Chaminda Jayanetti

Spending on external IT contractors by the Department for Work and Pensions has rocketed to £8m every month in a desperate attempt to get the heavily delayed Universal Credit scheme back on track.

Monthly workforce figures published by the DWP show that departmental spending on “specialist contractors” has more than doubled in just eight months, reaching £8,272,817 in April this year.

Specialist contractors are people temporarily hired from outside to work on a short-term basis as non-payroll contractors rather than employees.

According to the DWP they are working on its IT projects, with their numbers rising due to the department’s need for specialist skills in rolling out its “Digital Transformation Programme”, related to the troubled Universal Credit benefit scheme.

In just over two years the number of specialist contractors working for the DWP has risen from below a hundred in March 2014 to a record high of…

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