DWP looking for expertise in 40-year-old technology

The Department for Work and Pensions has said that it is looking to hire a Chief Technology Architect to lead the technical strategy and to revamp IT systems and technologies, which are up to 40 years out of date.

The CTA will have a budget of £1 billion to implement the new IT systems which would be responsible for a multitude of tasks within the department as the government makes updating the DWP a priority of digital strategy.

The DWP described the CTA as the directive of the “move from current systems to designing the next generation of systems which will be able to accommodate policy changes across successive parliaments”.

The IT systems at the DWP, the framework of which was mainly developed in the 1970s, have been described by the maintainer, Fujitsu, as the “workhorse behind the UK government’s revenues and benefits systems”.

Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service (GDS), admitted that the systems are outdated but said it is not a problem just for the DWP: “like every part of government, we have lots of old stuff”.

Everyone knows that the DWP, because it’s biggest, probably has more than other parts and that stuff is just going to have to be addressed and we’re going to do that with them (the CTA).”

The CTA will be paid a salary of £135,000, working under the director general for digital technology at the DWP, Mayank Prakash.

In addition to revolutionising the outdated technology systems in the department, the CTA will be expected to introduce “next generation web, social, mobile, cloud, big data and deep learning technologies” to the department systems.

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