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Gov IT boss is latest senior Cabinet Office bigwig to quit

Second in a month - who will implement IT strategy now?

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The Cabinet Office is a second senior man down just one month after the department published an ambitious action plan detailing deadlines for when it hopes to implement the IT strategy it announced in March this year.

UK.gov's chief information officer, Joe Harley, announced yesterday that he would retire from his post in early 2012.

Harley, who currently straddles two CIO jobs – the other being at the Department for Work and Pensions – only took on the IT boss position at the Cabinet Office in January this year. He replaced John Suffolk, who quit his £207,000 job at the end of 2010.

Harley's departure comes just weeks after the government's deputy CIO, Bill McCluggage, announced he had resigned and was moving on to a job at EMC.

The Register asked the Cabinet Office if senior civil servants had cast doubt on delivery of the government's IT strategy deadlines, given that McCluggage and now Harley had quit.

"The timeline for the delivery of the ICT strategy will not affected by Bill or Joe's departures," a Cabinet Office spokesman told us.

Meanwhile, the government is seeking two replacements for Harley, one for his CIO job at the Cabinet Office and the other for his DWP post.

Arguably, that could in fact be a good thing for getting the gov's IT strategy out the door. After all, two heads are supposedly better than one... ®

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