Feeds

Gov IT slasher gets top civil service role

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.