Feeds

UK.gov IT slasher axes himself - after 5 months in new job

Ian Watmore follows horde of civil servants streaming out the door

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Former tech-spending axeman Ian Watmore is leaving the civil service just five months after taking up a new role as the permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office.

He had previously headed up the reform and efficiency group, the unit tasked with cutting waste from the Whitehall budget. The Cabinet Office explained that Watmore was retiring to occupy himself with "spousal roles" in charity and sport.

Watmore's resignation comes within a year of several other top Whitehall ICT bods throwing in the towel. Cabinet Office CIO Joe Harley quit the Cabinet Office in November – less than a year after helping to draft the government's ICT strategy; Deputy Cabinet Office CIO Bill McCluggage left weeks before him; and the Cabinet Office man responsible for bringing G-Cloud into government – Chris Chant – left at the beginning of this month.

Watmore joined the Civil Service seven years ago and served as Whitehall's efficiency hardman - claiming to have knocked £3bn off government contracts with companies including BT, HP and Fujitsu during his time as chief operating officer of the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG).

Watmore's focus on procurement led to him co-creating the Major Projects Authority (MPA), which oversees projects worth £400m or more. He also set up the Government Digital Service.

In January 2012 Watmore took a promotion to become permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office after civil service head Gus O'Donnell retired and his role was split three ways. Watmore landed the role at the top of the Cabinet Office, the department that oversees the government.

He will be replaced as head of the Cabinet Office by Melanie Dawes, currently the director general of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat there. She will act as permanent secretary pending a competition for the job. As frothing political blogger Guido Fawkes points out, Dawes' partner is Benedict Brogan, deputy editor of the Telegraph.

Before joining the civil service, Watmore was CEO of Accenture, and joined the civil service in 2004, with a nine-month break in 2009, when he had a stint as CEO of the Football Association. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
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'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?