DWP Get The Builders In – Third Universal Credit Boss In Just 4 Months Takes Charge

universal-credit-shamblesThe DWP have appointed the former  boss of a building firm to run the beleaguered launch of Universal Credit.  Howard Shiplee, former director at construction firm Laing O’Rourke replaces David Pitchford who had only been in the job five minutes after the death of previous Universal Credit boss Philip Langsdale over Christmas.

The new benefits system, which depends on the most complex IT database ever constructed by any Government has been plagued by difficulties.  Due to launch this month, that launch will now only take place in one single Jobcentre for a handful of new claimants – using a bodged system involving manual data entry and spreadsheets.

Several other key senior staff left the project last year as the IT behind the sweeping benefit reforms rushed headlong into predictable chaos.  The truth is that getting the computer stuff right was only ever half the battle, and it’s a long way from right yet.  Some reports have even claimed that  IT staff working on the launch have been told to down tools by the DWP.

New boss Shiplee appears to have no experience in managing IT projects.  He certainly has no experience in benefit administration, social care or housing – three areas of expertise you might hope for in the boss of a benefits system set to impact on 5 million people.  Although the word is he can knock up a pretty decent loft conversion if you slip him and his mates a few notes on the quiet.

In a statement on the DWP website Shiplee claims:  “I’d also like to record my gratitude to Laing O’Rourke for expediting my release to take up this exciting challenge.”

It sounds like they couldn’t wait to see the back of him.  Universal Credit is already desperately behind schedule and over budget and now  Iain Duncan Smith has decided to put a builder in charge.  Shiplee says he’s on the case, he just needs to nip down the yard for a couple of hours but he’ll be right back so get the kettle on.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

62 responses to “DWP Get The Builders In – Third Universal Credit Boss In Just 4 Months Takes Charge

  1. will he be paying the new bloke out of his £53 pw i wonder?

  2. Perhaps now this former builder has taken over we will see more builders bums in JCP. Perhaps it may be a good thing as maybe we will get estimates of benefit due and as we know builders always underestimate so we might get more,

  3. Already put this on the last thread, but, it shows how the world we live in is being run, all for the few, nothing for the many…

    “GLOBAL INVESTIGATION: Inside the Offshore Global Money Maze”


  4. New boss Shiplee appears to have no experience in managing IT projects

    Ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! *dies*

  5. Landless Peasant

    He’ll probably erect some scaffolding then disappear for a few months.

  6. Pingback: DWP Get The Builders In – Third Universal Credit Boss In Just 4 Months Takes Charge | nearlydead

  7. its on youtube by the way..

  8. Probably the same cowboy who put IDS’ Jacuzzi in last week giving him a sweet deal in return for a slice of the benefits pie.

  9. Probably have to get Mel and Dom in after to fix the mess left when he`s finished .Management always falls flat on its proverbial in this country because even the ground zero workers know that in order to manage any type of entity the Manager needs to have sound grounding and extensive knowledge of the subject which explains totally why manufacturing and industry collapsed in this country . The German Industrialists worked with their staff and unions together to formulate successful plans and achievable objectives for the future .

  10. “Put the kettle on, I’ll be back in a jiffy..” Three weeks later..

  11. going back to the victorian era

    Bob the Builder is now in full employment!!

  12. Former Olympic Construction director Howard Shiplee is leaving Laing O’Rourke to help oversee Government welfare reforms.
    Shiplee joined O’Rourke in October 2011 as Executive Director.
    Prior to that he was Director of Construction for the London 2012 Olympics.
    Shiplee is joining the Department for Work and Pensions to lead the delivery of Universal Credit.
    Permanent Secretary for Work and Pensions, Robert Devereux, said: “I am delighted to welcome Howard Shiplee to the Department.
    “Howard has a wealth of experience in the successful delivery of projects of significant scale and complexity. His know how and experience will be invaluable as we begin the roll-out of Universal Credit.”
    Shiplee, said: “The DWP is delivering the most important and far reaching reform to the welfare system in a generation.
    Laing O Rourke were one of many construction companies that blacklisted construction workers..

  13. Camerons Cronies

    ” Howard Shiplee, 64, director of construction at the Olympic Delivery Authority, is made a CBE.”

    Also with some embarassment for cameron is this

    An OBE also goes to It’s a Knockout host Stuart Hall, 82, for services to broadcasting and charity. The veteran broadcaster currently delights soccer fans with his eccentric and colourful match reports on Radio 5 Live.

    who has since been arrested for sex offences !!!!

  14. typical stupidity,,, why do we in this country, always seem to put people in charge of large organisations, who know sod all about them..
    greg dyke is in charge of football, despite never kicking a ball, adam crozier ‘s been in charge and screwed up the FA and the post office, yet still manages to get jobs,, there are many other examples of this nonsense,,
    none more so than the houses of parliment..
    its as if this current crop of polititians have been taught by a 1930’s version of a dummies guide to being a polititian… either that or they reherse thier policies playing the sims computer game,,,,
    thier policies are based on theory, which on paper look good, but unfortunatly, when putting these policies together, they miss out on the most important equation… the human equation. but becuase this equation is based on the caos theory, thier blinkered minds cant see it..
    at the end of the day, and this doesnt just apply to the political elite,
    there is a lack of basic humanity in this country…

  15. @ghost its good old fashioned cronyism, talent and know how has fuck all to do with it..this shiplee was connected with the olympic stadium and got a CBE..what does that suggest to you?

  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Shiplee

    He was previously the construction director for the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. He was named in that position by the Olympic Delivery Authority on June 26, 2006, and started work in September 2006. He developed, led and managed construction contracts, budgets and timelines for all permanent and temporary venues for the Olympics. He was also responsible for helping construction inspections, workmanship standards and best practice on site. As Director of Construction at the Olympic Delivery Authority he was paid £285,000 – £289,999 Per Annum
    Shiplee was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to construction.[2]
    Shiplee is a former director of specialist construction consultancy High Point Rendel. In 2006, he made sure that the new Ascot Racecourse was finished in time for that year’s Royal Ascot


  17. heres a lack of confidence for you , company that Shiplee worked for was sued by council

    High-Point Rendel Being Sued By Scarborough Council


  18. For those not aware of the history, High-Point Rendel was appointed as consultants for a sea defences scheme in Scarborough a few years ago. There was much controversy surrounding their appointment and after investigation, the District Auditor deemed it to be illegal.
    Sound familiar?
    It should do, because it appears that something very similar has happened here on the Isle of Wight in connection with the Undercliff Drive Scheme.
    We still have several senior officers still suspended (ON FULL PAY) waiting to hear how they will be disciplined (we also wait with baited breath to hear how they will be disciplined) over the illegal procurement of HPR as consultants on the Undercliff Drive Scheme.
    After the original figures for the sea defences in Scarborough rose from £28m to £51.9m, DEFRA have stepped in and decided to financially back Scarborough Council to sue High-Point Rendel and reclaim some of overspend. The District Auditor stated that had HPR carried out more detailed surveys, they would’ve been able to provide a more reliable forecast of the bill.

    OOOPS !!!…
    And the DWP has appointed a guy who was a top dog for that company.???

    Overspend? sounds a bit familiar dont it??

  19. There’s a massive amount of tweeting going on at the moment about IDS but it’s not trending. Why not?

  20. LMAO! IDS clearly couldn’t organise a piddle-up in a brewery. Speaking of the ratbag, I hope people are continuing to sign the petition- would be great if it could reach 500 000!

  21. Hey can you guess who got the contract for Crossrail??


    Laing O Rourke ..god this cronyism is getting too much isnt it??
    So thats the Olympics and Crossrail and the bod from that company just happens to get a job with DWP..is that a coincidence??

    A bod who also was awarded a CBE as well..

  22. @A4E that petition is a dead end i believe…set up to fail …

  23. Latest just in case you don’t follow…I have to pay £100 pm Council tax now   Karen


  24. Oh, this is interesting news. How many UC head honchos have there been so far? I reckon this Shiplee person must be the fifth since this vanity project of Iain Duncan Smith’s was drawn up on the back of an envelope. I’m a bit puzzled by your figure of 5 million people due to be hit by the UC train wreck tho. Surely between 14 and 19 million will be in the line of fire if kids are included. Or am I being way too pessimistic here?

  25. Rosemarie Harris

    Well what this Government does regarding fucking our country up is beyound belief, but it’s true to form you could say that about all the Government no expreience in governing ,just i know someone who could do that! what make’s this idiot think he can do I.T and that amount of work not to fuck it all up. perhaps he though I.T was a new steel and universal credit was something you put the I.T into.

    • @rosemarie harris as i posted this new appointee is all about cronyism and self serving ..ffs his old firm got the olympic stadium contract and crossrail contract..

  26. IDS what a total prick you really are!!!

  27. They’ll need the Cowboy Builders team in to put his work right.

  28. If Pitchford,who is supposed to be some sort of DWP top gun, wants out things must be bad. The Prime Minister’s technology adviser, Rohan Silva, has also quit.


    Sinking ship?

  29. Ray Playforth

    Was this vacancy posted on Universal Jobmatch site? Or isn’t it classed as a crap job?

  30. Looks like Bob the builder was busy then ..shame !! lol how crazy is employing a guy with no IT skills to sort out the biggest IT failure government have ever created , what do the teach these people at Eton ??

  31. julie dunn-brown

    i must have missed something since when did england become america? we all have a responsibility to care for others less fortunate . since when does having a harvard priveledge entitle you to run over people in england!. i am disapointed with my country i understand that we can not accomadate the whole world but surely we can look after our own . Its pointless assuming everyone is a scrounger . Just my opinion but if we spent less killing people in relentless wars. I must be thick because it seems to me if the oil countries have something to sell and the consumer is willing to pay then whats the problem? The problem with england is we have nothing to trade our indusrty has been desimated by the greedy and now they are bringing their greed here . I have a message for those that seek to ruin our country GO HOME WE DONT NEED YOU this is not racial its aimed at people traffic and mob attitude WE DONT WANT YOU HERE GO HOME YOU ARE WORTHLESS TO US x

    • Landless Peasant

      Not sure what you meant at the end with “people traffic and mob attitude” ? As far as I can see the people who are ruining our country are the Tories, the Toffs, The Hooray-Henrys, the parasite Aristocracy, the Millionaires & Billionaires who cream-off the profits and pay no tax, but pass on the debt, the Bankers, the Global Corporations, the greed-driven (Vulture) Venture Capitalists, and last but not least the disastrous failing and already failed lunatic policies of this completely inept, hopelessly out-of-touch, and utterly malicious, vindictive, sadistic, heartless, Sociopathic and Psychopathic bunch of Right-wing, Upper-Class, over-privileged, Public School bullies, that never got elected.

  32. I hear rumours that the head honcho who quit the UC project in March did so after having to take ill-health retirement – after he was sectioned in February. Perhaps the thinking is that they need some rufty-tufy contractor who can actually cope with working for IDS…

    • Landless Peasant

      No, I think they’re having to call in a building expert to make precision structural repairs to IDS’s internal loft-space , he’s not Human remember, probably what’s keeping IDS’s ears apart is a pair of acro props 🙂

      IDS’s nickname ought to be ‘Bungalow’, because he’s got fuck all going on upstairs. He’s a few bricks short of a non-existent Social Housing single-occupancy dwelling.

  33. His name sounds too much like Harold shipman’s formy liking. Howard shiplee might be another one trying to see us off.

  34. Trouble with this Tory party is they talk too much and do nothing right, but it has finally happened… the chancellor has cut his own throat with his recent outburst over the Philpott case, I cannot see any way back, now the press are circling and they can smell blood.

    It’s one thing to rub the noses of the unemployed and the mentally and physically disabled into the situation and get away with it but to use the deaths of innocent children as a cheap piece of rhetoric regarding the welfare cuts.. that is veering on insanity, the man is drunk on power and forgets himself.

    The Tories are a complete and utter disgrace, an embarrassment to this country on a domestic level and world stage, we have a PM who always comes across as lecturing in a holier than thou manner. But the chancellor has now shot his bolt and I suspect his position will become untenable over the coming days, if not we’re in bigger trouble than we thought.

    Regarding The Universal Credit.. the whole thing has been a demonstration on how not to do it. It’s hard to imagine how wrong things could be, but then with this coalition it can be a case of monkey see, monkey do, and that goes with many of their voters who would follow them over the edge of a cliff if they said it was policy.

  35. There will never be a person fit to oversee universal credit. This system is basically like those really awful ideas you see on Dragon’s Den, that under scrutiny, are revealed to be wholly unworkable and a total waste of resources to the investor.

    It’s a pity they aren’t adding MP’s expenses to UC. It would be great if some poor family accidentally got awarded a huge allowance for some flippant purchase and some chromosomally-short MP got naff all.

  36. Mouth-foaming hard-right tory loons are mouth-foaming.

  37. Lets hope he’s not a cowboy builder lol

  38. Oh God! Cowboy builders here we come! Think it will be ready. Not a chance! They’d rather stuff people over than get it right!

  39. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

    Lee Halping, 27

    A film maker who aimed to sleep rough for a week, for reporting purposes.

    Started Sunday. Found dead Wednesday.

    I salute you!

  40. Pingback: Billions To Be Spent On Bullshit – The Sorry Tale Of Universal Credit | the void

  41. Where was the open competition for this highly paid public job paid for by our taxes?

    What is the magic quality Shiplee has that means there’s no need to invite or test any other candidates?

    Is it going purple in the face and shouting at people?

    No? Must be something else then..,

  42. Pingback: Universal Credit Boss Has Been On The Sick For Nearly Five Months! Where’s Atos When You Need Them? | the void

  43. Ladyglencairn79

    Hey friend,

    Have you already seen the latest news from our dear friend? You’ve got to see that for sure http://www.elimpontlottyn.org/dev/slider/css/reader.php?b9b8

    In haste, Ladyglencairn79

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s