HMRC has appointed Mark Dearnley, currently CIO of mobile telco company Vodafone UK, as its new Chief Digital and Information Officer.
Starting from September, Dearnley take over responsbility for HMRC’s £200 million digitisation programme and the planned acceleration of online services for taxpayers. He will also lead HMRC's physical, personnel and information security.
Since his appointment as Vodafone CIO in 2010, Dearnley has led the overhaul of Vodafone’s IT systems with the introduction of cloud-based technology. He previously held IT roles at telecoms companies including Cable and Wireless.
“I have spent my entire career in the private sector, mostly in customer-facing businesses,” said Dearnley. “But no private business in the UK can match the customer base, scale or complexity of HMRC, which makes this role irresistible.”
HMRC has pledged that by April 2013, up to two million people and five million small businesses will be able to conduct their tax affairs online, in a move that it says will offer them more convenience and greater control.
The department has claimed that its digital transformation will reduce its costs by £51 million by 2016.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said that the appointment of Dearnley, as one of the UK’s most experienced CIOs, is an “indication of the scale and seriousness of the government’s digital ambition.”
Dearnley’s move “is evidence that the government has the cutting edge-challenges that can attract the very best leaders in IT to public service,” he said.