The Channel logo

News

By | Kablenet 8th April 2009 06:02

Tata win Child Maintenance COTS IT deal

Past disasters ensure deliberate lack of innovation

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission has chosen Tata Consultancy Services to build its new IT system.

The commission, which took over the role of the Child Support Agency in November 2008, advertised the £50m tender last September.

Stephen Geraghty, the child maintenance commissioner, said the new system will use commercial off the shelf software (COTS) to lessen risk. "In learning the lessons of the past we will not attempt to 'reinvent the wheel' and order a single, purpose-built IT system," he said.

"The collection and payment of child maintenance is not dissimilar from transactions performed millions of times a day for financial organisations around the world. We want to draw on that technical expertise and provide to future child maintenance clients the kind of service they should expect."

This will include the commission providing account information online, by email and by text message, Geraghty added. "Many of the justified complaints against the old CSA were the result of the limitations of its IT systems. While we have made good progress since 2006 in improving those systems, it is essential that IT issues will not distract from a parent's duty to financially provide for their children."

The Child Support Agency was described in July 2007 by the Public Accounts Committee as "one of the greatest public administration disasters of recent times," largely down to the state of its IT systems.

Chris Pennell, a senior analyst at Kable, said the decision provided an insight into the views of the commission's parent department, the Department for Work and Pensions.

"While not a large contract in relation to past spend, this is certainly a good win for Tata Consultancy Services and shows the determination of the DWP to utilise the benefits of COTS solutions where possible," he said. "For other suppliers it is an indication that the DWP is serious about managing its IT better and delivering greater value for money."

The commission said its new system will incorporate Oracle's Siebel customer relationship management system, Tata's BaNCS banking system and products from Experian, Genysys, IBM and Oracle.

According to the tender notice, the system will handle case management, automated scheduling of payments, financial and arrears management and the management of civil and legal enforcement.

Source: KableDIRECT Publication date: 07/04/2009 13:18:58

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

comment icon Read 12 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Neil McAllister

Claims that cloud will drive Oracle's future growth ring hollow
Pure Storage array

Neil McAllister

How the cloud taught Redmond to play by a new set of rules

Features

Pebble Steel
Meet the man who accidentally created the smartwatch hype
No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
Fraud image