Johnson admits he has decisions to make over CSA’s IT system

Work and pensions secretary Alan Johnson admitted yesterday he
had some decisions to make over the future of the troubled Child
Support Agency’s computer system, writes Clare


Of the 478,000 applications for support since the computer
system was introduced 18 months ago, just 61,000 have been
processed and payments made.

However, a department for work and pensions spokesperson
emphasised that 100,000 applications had been closed as either
parents had got back together or they had decided they did not want
the agency’s involvement.

A further 200,000 applications had been through the first stage
of the process and 140,000 cases had had calculations made.

But she admitted: “Since the computer system was
introduced, there have been more problems than we would have liked
and these are largely due to the system itself.”

Giving evidence to the work and pensions select committee
yesterday, Johnson insisted that things had been improving.

He also revealed that head of the CSA Doug Smith would be
standing down from his role.

The DWP spokesperson added: “Doug has announced his
intentions to leave the CSA in the New Year. He has been in the
civil service for 40 years and has decided to take early

She insisted that his departure was not linked to the failings
of the CSA.

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