UK Ministry of Fun seeks deputy director for IT as it edges away from Cabinet Office shared services

DCMS wants to quintuple in-house IT staffers... that'll take it to 10

A man looks nervous at an interview

The Ministry of Fun is creating a position for a deputy director of IT to expand the department’s internal tech team and wean itself off the Cabinet Office’s shared services programme.

At present, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s organisation of techies is comprised of just two people, with delivery and development carried out by the Cabinet Office.

But DCMS as a whole has increased threefold in the past four years, now numbering about 1,200 staffers, and had digital slotted into its name back in 2017. It was then given responsibility for policymaking in digital and later – somewhat controversially – for data.

In a job ad for the newly created position, the department said it had made “good progress” towards "collaborative" and "agile" working while the Cabinet Office has been its IT delivery partner, but that it now plans to forge ahead alone.

“Due to the growth in the department and the increasing complexity of business needs, we are now building up the internal team to manage and develop IT with a range of delivery partners,” the ad for the role said.

The move is another signal that the Cabinet Office's shared services plans have run out their usefulness for government departments; the programme had already faced implementation difficulties as departments said a centralised solution didn't meet their specific needs.

DCMS said “a number” of unspecified IT services would continue to be delivered by the Cabinet Office – but emphasised the department was making a complete change to its business model for IT delivery. The new team will work with a “wider range” of "delivery partners" to establish services and infrastructure, it said.

The new job – offered at a salary of £68,000 to £80,000 – will be to overhaul the way DCMS delivers IT services, with it calling for “a programme of IT improvements that will transform the way we do business”.

DCMS said the successful candidate will work with new and existing IT providers and hire techies to swell the internal team to ten.

The deputy director for IT could also end up leading security at DCMS, although the ad states that responsibilities in this area are yet to be confirmed.

In addition to developing IT delivery for services and infrastructure within the department, the deputy director will be asked to consider how to develop leadership on IT functions across DCMS’ 45 arm’s-length bodies, which it said had been “limited” to date.

The job ad calls for someone with strong technical knowledge, excellent negotiation skills, experience managing IT operations in a complex multi-vendor environment, and “significant track record of owning end-to-end in-house technology service delivery”.

The org chart data at DCMS last updated in December 2018 does not list a director for IT; but it does have a director of digital and technology policy, a director of cyber security, and a director of digital infrastructure.

The closing date for applications is 27 March, with interviews to take place on 16 May. ®

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