16 December 2005 The UK Government is looking for a new CIO, the highest IT-related post in the civil service, because the current incumbent, Ian Watmore, has been promoted to the head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
The role of Government CIO is crucial to on-going efforts to drive down cost within the public sector and to improve the tarnished reputation of government IT projects.
Although Watmore had no direct line management of other senior public sector IT chiefs, he chaired both the government’s CIO Council and Senior IT Forum, and was responsible for setting government IT strategy.
Watmore will assume his new role from 9 January 2006. He will be charged with implementing and advising on the Prime Minister’s key public service deliveries.
The top public sector IT role has proved to be difficult to fill for the UK Government. IT has been identified as a cornerstone of public sector reform. Initially an e-envoy was appointed to oversee public sector IT, but it became apparent that instead of a missionary role, greater leadership was needed.
Watmore took up the reigns in September 2004, having formerly been the UK managing director at IT consultancy Accenture. He will oversee the appointment of his successor.
“Ian Watmore is one of the civil service’s most successful recruits from the private sector…Ian’s work on the Transformational Government strategy demonstrated his personal commitment to improving public services and a capability to deliver within the Whitehall environment,” said Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell.
Watmore said he was “honoured” to be appointed to his new role as Sir Michael Barber’s successor, and said he wanted to “continue to help implement the business transformation of Government itself.”