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Programme governance and assurance

Governance

PDP has an established governance structure, which we outlined in our last report. You can find out more about how we are set up on our website.

The Pensions Dashboards Programme is complex and its success relies heavily on collaboration with our delivery partners in government, industry regulators and the pensions industry itself. PDP holds monthly risk meetings, to monitor how our progress affects ongoing risks to the programme, in addition to the ongoing assurance provided by our governance groups.

We asked representatives from two of our governance groups about their contribution to working on the programme. Their contributions are below – please bear in mind that they hold diverse opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the view of the Pensions Dashboards Programme, government, DWP or MaPS.

 

Kim Gubler sits on our Steering Group, which is a strategic body, made up of pensions industry, consumer and fintech representatives, who hold a range of differing views. It is responsible for informing the design and delivery of the entire dashboards ecosystem.

“Being on the PDP Steering Group has been a really interesting experience for me. I’m passionate about helping to drive this initiative, as are all my co-Steering Group colleagues.  It’s been an eye opener witnessing such an important government technology project develop, a massive amount of work has been done but there’s so much more to do.  The Steering Group isn’t a decision making body, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t consulted and listened to.

I represent PASA on the Steering Group and, as such, I tend to look at the ‘how’ of dashboards – both operationally and for members.  When an issue is particularly complex or multi-dimensional, I also consult with PASA’s Dashboards Working Group. This means I can bring my own experience to the table as well as drawing on PASA’s wider (and technical) expertise.

Each of us on the Steering Group brings different skills and perspectives to the table.  This means the project is subject to diverse challenge, making it more robust.  This threads through from the operational, to Fintech and the consumer.  

Although clearly this is a government project, industry-specific skills are needed to ensure dashboards deliver on the promise.  We don’t always agree, but having access to such a range of experiences and views means our input is multi-dimensional.  On a personal note, this has been great for me as it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me view solutions from all sides.  I look forward to the time when looking up your pension details on dashboards is simply part of everyone’s life.”

Kim Gubler, Director,
KGC Associates

Ann Harris sits on the sub-committee of the MaPS board, which has the delegated authority to direct the work of the programme, hold it to account and take investment decisions.

“Working as a member of the sub-committee is both challenging and rewarding.

Overall, the committee reports to the MaPS Board, but it has delegated authority to direct the work of the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) and to hold it to account. The sub-committee provides assurance to the Board that the programme is on track to deliver within plan, cost and timetable and recognise its priority within MaPS’ overall corporate plan. It is also important that the sub-committee ensures that PDP’s remit is in line with the broad strategic framework of MaPS, that its business case is robust and that it has the necessary resources to deliver.

As a sub-committee member, I am expected to challenge proposals from the programme, provide expert advice within my knowledge and skillset, provide opinion or contribute to decisions in a timely manner. Each sub-committee member brings their own unique expertise to bear. In my case, that includes bringing experience of managing transformation programmes within government, business cases and in the context of MaPS, assessing any additional risks that proposals may add to the programme and ensuring that there are adequate controls and linkages in place to the overall governance oversight within MaPS. 

The programme is complex with many external dependencies, which increases the risks that it has to manage but also make it incredibly interesting.”

Ann Harris, Non-executive director, MaPS Board

 

Strengthening governance arrangements

PDP joined the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) in February. The GMPP comprises the largest, most innovative and highest risk programmes and projects that are being delivered across government.

 
We are working closely with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) to provide much of our independent scrutiny, assurance and advice. The IPA sits at the heart of government and is responsible for supporting the successful delivery of all types of major projects and programmes.

We undertook an IPA review in July 2021: a key point in the programme lifecycle, as we pivoted from mobilisation to delivery. The review was scoped around our progress towards procuring a supplier for the central digital architecture, and more broadly the deliverability of the programme.

The outcome of the review was an amber assessment, which is in keeping with the outcome of our previous, DWP-led, review in September 2020.

This assessment recognises, and balances, the complexities and risks associated with delivery and the progress made. We have a number of recommendations to meet over the coming months as we prepare for the next stage of delivery.

Procurement governance approvals

Key achievements

PDP successfully secured all government approvals necessary to enter into contractual agreement to deliver the programme’s central digital architecture

Capgemini announced as the successful bidder on 9 September and onboarding of this supplier is ongoing

approval gained to proceed with procuring a third-party supplier to provide an identity service, expected to start this winter

PDP has completed the relevant documentation to obtain the associated approvals to proceed with two procurement exercises. The first procurement exercise, for the central digital architecture, received approval to proceed in April and successfully completed when contract and spend control approvals were received. The contract with Capgemini was subsequently signed on 3 September.

The identity service procurement is on a different timeline and we have received the necessary approval to start the exercise. Subject to receiving the necessary contract approvals, we envisage signing a contract this winter.

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