– Amyas Morse, head of National Audit Office
The department's plans for Universal Credit were driven by an ambitious timescale, and this led to the adoption of a systems development approach new to the department.
The relatively high risk trajectory was not, however, matched by an appropriate management approach. Instead, the programme suffered from weak management, ineffective control and poor governance.
Universal Credit could well go on to achieve considerable benefits if the department learns from these early setbacks and puts realistic plans and strong discipline in place for its future roll-out.
Government attempts to set up its flagship Universal Credit scheme have not achieved "value for money" and have already wasted £34 million, according to a damning report by the National Audit Office.