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Head of UK.gov IT quits

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John Suffolk, the official in charge of the government's overall IT strategy, has resigned.

He will leave the £207,000 post at the end of the year, after just under five years as Whitehall's Chief Information Officer, based at the Cabinet Office.

He has campaigned for radical reform of government IT, including slashing the number of data centres, the ongoing creation of a "G-Cloud" for cloud computing, and a greater role for smaller suppliers.

Since the coalition came to power he has also been heavily involved in negotiations to cut the cost of existing government IT contracts.

Until a permanent replacement is appointed, Ian Watmore, Suffolk's predecessor as government CIO, now in charge of the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group, will mind the shop.

Suffolk said: "I am immensely proud of the way we have supported the new Coalition Government in its first six months and have greatly enjoyed working with [Cabinet Office minister] Francis Maude and his team.

"I know that with his drive and passion for delivery the very good work we have started will continue and be a great success."

Suffolk joined the Cabinet Office in 2006 from the Home Office, where he was in charge of IT in the criminal justice system. Prior to that he worked in financial services, including at the Britannia Building Society.

Cabinet Office CIO is the government's second-highest paid IT post, after Department of Work and Pensions IT chief Joe Harley, who is paid a salary of £262,500. ®

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