PracticePeople In PracticeNI computer underpaying pensioners

NI computer underpaying pensioners

A computer system installed under the private finance intiative has continued to underpay 128,000 pensioners £340 a year since February 1997, a total yearly amount of £43.5m.

And the problem continues to deteriorate as 2,300 of the 50,000 people who reach retirement age every month, are not paid. In addition to those short-changed 5,300 lucky pensioners are being overpaid £174 a year amounting to £920,000.

The National Insurance Recording System, known as NIRS2, was chosen after Andersen Consulting agreed to fund the development costs itself in return for intellectual property rights. In addition it underbid rival bidders by £100m.

NIRS2 was recently labelled ‘rubbish’ by pensions minister Jeff Rooker, who openly admitted that the Department of Social Security was not proud of their IT systems.

Rooker went on claim that this was a problem the government had known for months, but had never taken seriously. He said it was taking months and in some cases years to make the correct payments to pensioners.

Rooker believes the root of the problem is the Department of Social Security’s underinvestment in IT and its decision to purchase the cheapest computer systems.

In August, Andersen Consulting was questioned by a powerful Commons select committee about why it was allowed to retain intellectual property rights to such a major government computer system.

Links

Committee questions Andersens’ computer role

Revenue fights back over file closures

Revenue denies losing millions of tax records

Andersen Consulting to pay no more compensation for overdue computer system

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