Public Accounts Committee

Universal Credit: progress review inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published 4 November 2016. Government response published 6 February 2017.

Report published

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee first reported on Universal Credit in November 2013, following the Major Projects Authority's decision to reset the programme in light of serious concerns about the programme's lack of detailed plans.

The Committee concluded that the

"management of the Universal Credit programme has been extraordinarily poor. 

Oversight has been characterised by a failure to understand properly the nature and enormity of the task, a failure to monitor and challenge progress regularly, and a failure to intervene promptly when problems arose."

Given the scale of the project and the initial problems, the Committee has kept the programme under review, reporting on progress in both February 2015 and February 2016. At the 2015 point, the Committee made six recommendations aimed at improving transparency around costs and progress; developing contingency plans; and strengthening accountability arrangements to secure better value for money for the taxpayer in future.

The February 2016 inquiry examined progress against those recommendations. The July 2016 inquiry will continue to track the recommendations from prior inquiries on universal credit.

Publications

Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the Universal Credit: progress review inquiry.

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