The government is preparing to spend up to £50 million on the development of core IT systems for its new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

The commission is the successor to the government’s ill fated Child Support Agency, which has suffered from a decade of IT problems.

The Commission has issued a tender notice for the design and build of a new, fully integrated IT system to support the New Statutory Maintenance scheme, the government’s simplified regime for ensuring absent parents support their children.

Core elements of the system include: case management, case assessment, and payment calculations modules.

The agency wants automated scheduling of payments both incoming and outbound, as well as financial and arrears management and support for civil and legal enforcement.

The contract will cover the provision of all software and associated technology, including the design, development and testing of the system. In addition the agency wants support for the handover of the product to a hosting provider in preparation for live running and technical backup for a for a three month period after “go live”.

Completion of the system is targeted for June 2011, 30 months after the contract begins, on 31 January 2009.

The Child Support Agency, which the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission replaces, has suffered a string of IT failures. Its £456 million IT system, set up by EDS, had 500 faults three years after it went live, and is now being overhauled under an operational improvement plan, costing a further £320 million.

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