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More public sector IT woes

This time it’s the Department of Work and Pensions, in particular their contact centres.

Contact centre employees have to use a number of different systems containing client information. These systems are not properly joined up, so that people applying for benefits or pensions have to give the same information on a number of occasions – when much of it is already held on a system in the department.

Not only is this frustrating for the member of the public, as well as the staff member concerned, it’s also a very good way of ensuring that inaccurate and inconsistent information gets into the system(s).

“There are at least 55 different telephone numbers for contacting the DWP and, quite incredibly, if you contact the wrong service, the department’s technology will not enable your call to be transferred to the right service.”

I suppose that if you make it really hard for people to claim benefits then you save money, as fewer of them will stick it out, but it’s expensive in terms of productivity and staff morale.