Further supplementary note from DWP
List of "legacy benefits" [ie benefits
not currently open to new claimants] with an analysis of how many
people still claim them; and a cost-benefit analysis of changes
to this aspect of the system.
Current caseloads figures for the "legacy
benefits" (benefits not currently open to new claimants)
Supplementary Benefit changing to
Income Support in 1988: data is not available
Income Support changing to Jobseekers
Allowance in 1996: data is not available
Widows Benefit changing to Bereavement
Benefit in 2001: Widows Benefit caseload of 109,000
End of new claims for Severe Disablement
Allowance in 2001: caseload of 288,000
(246,000 working age, 42,000 pensioners) in 2006-07
End of new claims for Invalidity
Benefit in 1995: caseload of 407,00015 in 2006-07
A cost benefit analysis of buy-outing transitional
protection for people in receipt of Invalidity Benefit with a
lump sum payment that would be actuarially calculated depending
on age and the amount of Invalidity Benefit received, and replaced
with long-term Incapacity Benefit, was undertaken in 2004. It
was estimated that such a buyout would cost around £2.5 billion.
Cost benefit analysis information on the other legacy benefits
is not available.
CMS, LMS AND THE
Information Sharing: the Department's Strategic
Improved Access to Customer Information
To enable easier access and sharing of customer
information held on the Department's systems, integration technologies
will be used to open up existing systems securely, enabling information
provided by the customer directly, or indirectly, to be transferred
automatically to those systems that need the information to support
the services delivered to the customer. This will also reduce
staff costs in time currently taken in manually applying changes
to information to multiple systems.
Customer Self Service
Greater customer self service will be enabled
by this improved access to information. Initially self-service
enquiry services can be provided, followed subsequently with the
facilities that will enable customers to update their information
which will be automatically updated on the existing systems.
Automation of Processes
To allow for the increased automation of business
processes and introduction of "straight through processes"
and also support customer self-service, the intention is to deploy
process management technology (accompanied by the appropriate
security controls) alongside the integration technologies. These
technologies will also allow for improved control of long running
business processes and the automation of work distribution to
staff. This will allow staff to focus on management of complex
cases and exceptions where intervention can add the most value
while automating the simple straight forward processes.
To ensure the successful delivery of the new
IT functionality a staged deployment approach is proposed. This
will be based on an evolutionary approach, driven by business
need, but following industry best practice regarding the deployment
of these technologies. For example, initial deployments to provide
improved support for customer enquiries by drawing information
from multiple systems would be followed by deployment of more
complex update functionality.
To enable the rapid deployment of the technologies,
with the associated improvement to efficiency, initially focus
will be on those technologies that can "wrap" existing
enquiry and update functions of the Department's systems allowing
the information to be presented and updated in a more effective
manner without the risk of long development and implementation
Following the initial deployments, more sophisticated
integration and process management services will be developed
to provide more extensive information transfer and process management
Information sharing between systems
A degree of information sharing between systems
already exists which, in line with the Department's overarching
IS/IT strategy and business strategy, we are looking to enhance.
In order to support service provision to our
customers and prevent overpayments our legacy systems have a number
of point to point interfaces that allow data to be shared between
the different benefit calculation engines and Child Support Agency
within DWP as well as to partner organisations like HMRC and Local
authorities to support the delivery of Tax Credits and Housing
Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
The Department has recognised that increased
data sharing between existing systems and the creation of a single
customer account would enable us to deliver significant service
improvements for our customers. In that customers will be able
to have their full service needs identified and delivered at the
point of contact and our staff will have comprehensive tools to
support them as they do their job.
The Department is developing a delivery programme
that will incrementally deliver the data sharing capability required:
Customer Information System (CIS): we have implemented
a common data warehouse for customers' personal details; we have
plans to increase the content of this service to include payment
details as well as expanding the service provision to enable HMRC
to use the common data.
DWP Direct Gov Customer Account: we also have
plans to deliver a new e-service to the customer via the Government
Gateway, which will allow those customers who have registered
on the government gateway to access existing e-service like TeS
and Job Bank as well as viewing their data held on CIS.
Customer Management System (CMS) we will continue
to enhance and improve the CMS system which supports the information
capture process for new and repeat claims to IS, JSA & IB.
Once collected CMS shares the data it has captured with the appropriate
legacy system as well as HMRC and Local Authorities.
In October 08 we will introduce the Employment
and Support Allowance. Delivery of this new benefit will be enabled
by an IT infrastructure that reuses the Pensions Transformation
Programme (PTP) Customer Account Management (CAM) capability already
deployed to support Claims to Retirement Pension and Pensions
Credit, this system will share information with our legacy systems
which will calculated entitlement and issue payment and notifications
to customers but all contact information will be mastered in the
Our longer term plan is to roll out this infrastructure
to all Working Age benefits, thus creating a single customer contact
history as well as integrated processing capability.
We are also investigating business opportunities
presented by the deployment of "encapsulation" technology.
We have completed a "proof of concept" test where we
have encapsulated one of the legacy systems (JSAPS) to better
support staff dealing with customer enquiries and those updating
the system to administer direct payments. We have also shown that
we can expose the legacy data as a web service which, potentially,
enable use to share data across a range of systems and applications
like Better Off Calculator and all those mentioned above.
We plan to test this new technology in a live
environment during the summer, and if successful develop an incremental
delivery program that will progressively enable our "no wrong
door" and "once and done" aspirations for customers
service as well as supporting the achievement of our challenging
The evolutionary approach being taken will allow
us to ensure a robust capability to deliver is understoodoverall
timescales and costs for delivery can then be understood and mapped
against our capacity for change and investment over time.
The Unit's priorities for the coming year are:
Refresh the communications strategy, to ensure
that simplification is `mainstreamed' into all aspects of the
Department's work, by using all available means including:
Reviewing and updating the Guide
to Best Practice by the end of May 2007;
Updating the Unit's intranet site
quarterly to maintain interest and impetus within the Department
to simplify and provide staff with the opportunity to forward
ideas and proposals to the Benefit Simplification Unit.
Provide Ministers with a quarterly update covering:
Developments in helping customers
find out about benefits;
Developments in the processes for
making a claim to benefit (including IT);
Changes to the benefit assessment
Changes in claims completion processes
(including joint working with local authorities and HMRC).
Block needless further complication of the benefit
system by requiring all Ministerial submissions that recommend
policy or operational changes to refer to the effect on benefit
simplification and actively vet all working age benefits and pensions
submissions. If disagreement between the Unit and the team proposing
the change, the final submission to Ministers will include a passage,
written by the Unit reflecting both viewpoints.
Continually seek simplification to lighten the
burden on customers and staff by cutting and streamlining operational
procedures including identification of a further package of simplification
Taking forward the recommendations arising out
of the Citizen Advice secondee's report providing a customer perspective
on what would make the benefits system simpler.
Conclude the study of the scope for producing
a complexity index.
Play an active part in discussions with operational
colleagues to identify policy and operational issues where joint
Work Welfare & Equality Group and Jobcentre Plus action could
lead to making current business processes simpler for staff and
customers and to putting customers' needs at the centre of our
activities. This will include proposals to introduce simpler verification
requirements and easier transitions for customers when moving
To work closely with colleagues developing the
Department's business strategy to ensure opportunities for further
simplification are exploited.
To assist colleagues within the Benefit Reform
Division in the development of ideas for a single income replacement
benefit for people of working age.
We are currently considering Sue Royston's findings
and putting together an action plan to address them. Some of the
recommendations will be fed into appropriate initiatives already
under way in the Department. We will look at the scope for a cost-benefit
analysis of the remaining measures during the summer.
These are internal reports which include details
of work in progress and discussion of various options that would
lead to advice to Ministers on the way forward. As such it would
not be appropriate to share this with the Committee.
15 2006-07 caseloads taken from DWP benefit projections,
Forecasting Division. Back
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as in-work benefits; claimants'
and advisors' knowledge, attitudes and experiences. Back
Figures later corrected by DWP, see Ev 233. Back