IfG: Universal Credit accountability questions remain unanswered

Serious questions remain about accountability for Universal Credit in light of Robert Devereux and Iain Duncan Smith’s latest appearance before MPs, the Institute for Government has said.

By CivilServiceWorld

07 Feb 2014

On Monday, the work and pensions secretary told MPs on the department’s select committee that they shouldn’t try to “run the department”, rejecting their attempts to scrutinise the project as it develops. And he defended the decision not to disclose the findings of an internal review into Universal Credit’s IT systems, arguing that he doesn’t “have to tell the committee everything that happens in the department until we have reached a conclusion”.

Julian McCrae, IfG deputy director, told CSW the session “didn’t shed a lot of light on the questions of accountability”. The DWP should explain how it will respond to last year’s “damning” Public Accounts Committee report, he said, and how it will avoid future problems. But IDS clearly resisted the committee’s attempts to hold him to account.

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