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UK.gov taps up DWP's IT boss for all of Whitehall

Joe Harley takes on wider portfolio, 'ICT futures' wonk sought

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Joe Harley has been appointed as UK.gov's new IT boss, the Cabinet Office confirmed today.

He replaces John Suffolk, who resigned from his £207,000 Chief Information Officer post at the end of last year.

Harley is the current Department for Work and Pensions CIO. From today, the government beefed up his portfolio - while presumably saving a few taxpayer pennies, too - by hiring him to take charge of Whitehall's overall IT strategy alongside his DWP job.

Previously, Harley pulled in a salary of £262,500 at the DWP, making him the highest paid IT boss in UK.gov. It's unclear if his pay packet has risen now that he has taken on a larger beat.

In his new role, Harley will report directly to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and the government's Chief Operating Officer Ian Watmore.

Bill McCluggage retains the role of deputy CIO at the Cabinet Office.

Harley will work closely with the government's digital director, Chris Chant. He's also tasked with the tricky job of keeping government ICT project and procurement costs down.

Separately, the Cabinet Office said it was on the lookout for a director of "ICT futures", who will report directly to Harley.

"This role will be responsible for implementing new ways of designing and developing systems using agile methods and skunkworks environments; increasing the drive towards open standards and open source software; change the terrain for SMEs to enter the government marketplace; and maintain a horizon scan of future technologies and methods," it said. ®

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