The Child Support Agency's (CSA) new computer system continues to be dogged by controversy, with claims that it is over budget and behind schedule.
The government admitted in March that delivery of the CSA's new IT system would be delayed. Reports last week indicated that the system would not be ready until next summer, and that it would come in £50m over budget.
Changes to the system introduced after the original contract had been signed had raised the price, an EDS spokeswoman said.
The decision as to when the system would be delivered rested with the government, she said. "I very much doubt it will be [delayed until next summer]," she added.
A spokesman for the government insisted that no decision on delivery had yet been taken.
The new system had been due to go live by April 2002. In June, the minister responsible for the CSA, Malcolm Wicks, told parliament that testing of it was continuing. Wicks said at the time that "no firm date" for the completion of testing had been agreed.
Back in April, then minister of state for work and pensions, Alistair Darling, said that he was unwilling to authorise the start of the new system "until the testing process is complete".
The system is intended to simplify the calculations required to assess child support payments.
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