A computer crash which has crippled benefit pension payments at the DWP since Monday has largely been corrected with nearly all users now able to access their business systems, according to the DWP.
The DWP says the system crashed after a software upgrade malfunction, so suppliers EDS and Microsoft were called in to repair the damage and get the system back up and running.
A statement issued this morning by the DWP alleges the problem has been ‘blown all out of proportion’, with earlier reports estimating as much as 80% of the government department's services affected.
Officials say the impact on customers has been ‘minimal’ and customers have received their benefit payments, without citing how many individuals did not receive their benefits on time and how long it will take before they do receive them.
"However there have been delays with dealing with new or amended claims because many staff were not been able to access their systems," continues the statement."We have been working around the clock with our suppliers to resolve the PC problems and as of yesterday nearly all users were able to access their business systems,” DWP said.
The breakdown marks the latest in a string of spectacular failures in implementing new departmental computer systems of upgrades.
Previous problems have involved passports, healthcare services and tax credits.
A failure specifically relating to pensions benefits is troubling because if bodes ill for the government's stated "informed choices" approach to pensions reform.
This will rely heavily on IT technology delivering pensions statements to those planning for retirement, and is supposed to include pensions calculators and other online tools available through the DWP.IFAonline
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