"There is a lot of speculation but there is no hard information coming out of DWP about when they will be ramping it up. It's always been expected that by October they will start some sort of roll-out nationwide, but exactly what that would look like and what types of cases is not clear at the moment."
"But obviously this is a pilot, and part of the role of the pilot will be to test the IT and iron out the glitches. However, it is certainly far from the fully finished IT because it is only able to support the straightforward types of cases."
It was revealed earlier this month that DWP has hired Howard Shiplee, executive director at construction company Laing O'Rourke, to lead delivery on Universal Credit. Shiplee is the fourth person to be appointed to the head of the programme in just six months - one of the main indicators that the project is in trouble, as those involved continue to distance themselves from the rollout.
It was also recently leaked that although DWP had originally planned to roll out all of the technology to the pilot areas to calculate claimants' benefit, sources close to the project have said that Job Centres will actually be manually carrying out the final calculations.
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