An expert in computer systems that are more than 40 years old is being sought by the government, to revamp technology used by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The DWP’s new chief technology officer (CTO) is making use of a £1billion annual budget by improving the systems, which are responsible for many core public sector tasks – such as BACS transactions used to pay wages.
However, one public sector tech expert warned against falling into the trap of big IT overhauls.
Speaking to Government Computing Magazine, the executive director for the government digital service, Mike Bracken, acknowledged the department’s creaking-tech situation.
“Like every part of government, we have lots of old stuff,” he said.
“Everyone knows that DWP, because it’s biggest, probably has more than other parts and that stuff is just going to have to be addressed and we’re going to do that with them.
“And that’s going to be hugely exciting and liberating for that organisation.”
Much of the system underpinning the work of the DWP was first developed in the 1970s.
Its maker and maintainer, Fujitsu, describes its system as the “workhorse behind the UK government’s revenues and benefits systems”.