DWP sticks with US giant FICO for £5m digital debt platform

Written by Sam Trendall on 23 July 2019 in News

US-based credit-score provider retains contract to department’s debt-management system

Credit: Max Pixel

The Department for Work and Pensions has signed a £5m deal to relicense its existing debt-management software platform for a further six years.

The DWP first deployed debt-management tools from US credit scoring-giant FICO in 2014. The contract was renewed in 2017, before being retendered last year.

Following the conclusion of a competitive bidding process, the department has chosen to remain with FICO. The company has been awarded a six-year contract, which came into effect on 28 June. The deal will be worth £5.2m to the firm.

According to the contract notice, FICO will be tasked with providing “a debt-management system and associated services to support DWP's vision of being a centre of excellence and strategic partner for socially responsible, sustainable recovery of collections, and money owed to the UK government”.

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It added: “In order to achieve this vision, DWP debt-management operations are transforming the way that they work. Underpinning this will be the modernisation of their business operation and their products and services, including the debt-management system.”

DWP’s debt management function is responsible for recovering money owed to the government as a result of benefit and tax credit overpayment or advances. It also recoups outstanding Social Fund loans.

Founded in 1956 as Fair, Isaac and Company, California-headquartered FICO’s credit-scoring system has become the de facto standard in the US and is widely used to inform lending decisions made by US credit agencies, banks, and other lenders. Millions of citizens and businesses also obtain or monitor their FICO score each year.

Its annual report shows that, in the year to 30 September 2018, the company turned over $1.03bn (£860m). The firm has a UK headquarters in London and in FY18 generated 7.5% – $77m – of its overall revenue in this country.


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Sam Trendall is editor PublicTechnology


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