Feeds

Gov IT slasher gets top civil service role

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?