Pitchford to lead Universal Credit

David Pitchford, head of the Major Projects Authority (MPA), has taken charge of the Universal Credit programme on an interim basis while the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recruits a replacement for Philip Langsdale, who passed away last December.

By Suzannah.Brecknell

21 Feb 2013

Langsdale was the DWP’s CIO and also the senior responsible officer (SRO) for universal credit, which will replace a number of existing benefits and tax credits and is due to be fully rolled out by 2017.

Andy Nelson, formerly at the justice department, will replace Langsdale as CIO (see Moves, right), but will not take over as SRO for the project. A departmental spokesperson indicated that Pitchford would remain in the role “for a few months”. She said the appointment “will help ensure the continued smooth preparation for the early rollout of Universal Credit” in April.

Pitchford will retain overall responsibility for the MPA, which oversees all large government projects and has the power to intervene if a project is deemed to be failing.

Julia Mountford, who leads the construction team within the MPA, and Steve Mitchell, deputy head of the MPA, will take over day-to-day management of the organisation.

The DWP spokesperson said that a recruitment exercise to find a permanent SRO for universal credit will be starting shortly.

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