Feeds

Gov IT slasher gets top civil service role

Ian Watmore promoted in wake of 'Sir Humphrey's' exit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The man tasked with slimming government IT spending – yet who tried to inject MacBooks into Whitehall – will step up to a more powerful role after civil service grandee Sir Gus O’Donnell retires in December.

Ian Watmore, chief operating officer of the Efficiency and Reform Group, which claimed to have saved Whitehall £3bn over the past year by tightening up bureaucratic operations, will become permanent secretary for the Cabinet Office.

Watmore’s new position will make him the most senior civil servant in the department charged with making Whitehall wonks work efficiently and encouraging co-ordination between government departments.

He became a familiar name to government IT providers after waging a battle to make them more cost-effective, telling Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in June that £800m of his £3bn savings came from renegotiating IT contracts.

Watmore name-dropped BT, HP and Fujitsu as companies he had haggled with. "The generality of what we did with suppliers was to get them to reduce their prices," he told the committee.

Another one of his stated priorities was reorganising procurement so that small and medium-sized enterprises could bid for government contracts - deals he envisaged as being more cost-effective over the long-term.

Watmore’s promotion comes as part of a restructuring of the civil service following Sir Gus’s retirement on 31 December.

Sir Gus’s £240,000-a-year role as head of the civil service has been divided into three parts: No 10 permanent secretary and the Prime Minister's principal policy advisor Jeremy Heywood will become the Cabinet Secretary, while a mandarin plucked from Whitehall will be appointed as head of the Home Civil Service.

Watmore trained as an accountant, was CEO of Accenture, and joined the civil service in 2004, with a nine-month break as CEO of the Football Association in 2009. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.