Feeds

Government hires Guardianista as digital chief

'Prize on offer too great to ignore'

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The government has hired Mike Bracken as its new digital boss.

Bracken, who up until last week held the role of digital development director at the Guardian newspaper, will be based in the Cabinet Office from 5 July.

He is tasked with improving UK.gov's "online presence" as well as extending the number of public services available via the interwebs.

Bracken will report to the government's COO Ian Watmore, and will be responsible for over 100 digital service staff.

Bracken's arrival comes several months after the Cabinet Office undertook a wide-ranging shake-up of its digital team.

In January this year, Joe Harley was appointed as the government's new IT boss. He replaced John Suffolk, who resigned from his £207,000 Chief Information Officer post at the end of last year.

The Coalition lost Andrew Stott, its previous director of digital engagement, at the end of 2010. He was replaced by interim director Katie Davies who was previously at the Identity and Passport Service.

Jayne Nickalls – who headed up the Directgov site – surprisingly quit her job in November, after five years with the service. Her departure signalled the arrival of digital darling Martha Lane Fox, who advised the government to rethink its online strategy.

Last month the deputy director of the government's so-called G-Cloud programme, Andrew Tait, quit in favour of a job at VMware.

Bracken, whose new salary is £142,000, joined the Guardian in 2008. He led the launch of the paper's Open Platform project.

His job shuffles several previous roles into one big hat. Bracken will take on the work left absent by Nickalls, as well as lead "cross-government digital reform work", and help steer UK.gov's digital engagement and transparency strategy.

“While there is a great deal to do, I am convinced that if we attract new digital skills, adopt user-first principles and work collaboratively within government and with a wider, more agile supplier base, then we can improve how citizens interact with government," said Bracken. “We will need to collaborate, be open and quick to adopt new technologies and continually learn from users and their experiences, and it will take backing from all corners, but the prize on offer is simply too great to ignore.” ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.