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Open source 'wasn't available' two years ago, says Universal Credit chief

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The head of delivery for the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) flagship welfare reform project, Universal Credit, has said that the department didn’t adopt open source and web-based technologies at the beginning of the project because “such things weren’t available” two and a half years ago.

Howard Shiplee told the Work and Pensions Committee this week that the department is now using open source technologies in its enhanced version of Universal Credit, which was initially developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and will be rolled out nationally by 2017 for most claimants.

The existing system being used in pathfinder pilots and developed by the likes of IBM, HP and Accenture will be largely be replaced by the digital version.

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