Government strengthens digital leadership – GOV.UK

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Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office has today announced the appointment of three senior Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) leaders by the Government:

  • Paul Willmott will Chair a new Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) for the Government
  • Joanna Davinson will be appointed the Executive Director of CDDO
  • Tom Read will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Government Digital Service (GDS)

The Cabinet Office will establish the Central Digital and Data Office for Government – the new strategic centre for Digital, Data and Technology for the Government – in early February.

As the country looks ahead to new opportunities, including tackling coronavirus and rebuilding our economy, the Civil Service Digital, Data and Technology function will be integral to its success and these appointments will strengthen the leadership, power and presence in this critical area.

The Cabinet Office has invited Joanna Davinson, who has 30 years experience of technology enabled transformation to be the Executive Director of the Central Digital and Data Office, which will be chaired by Paul Willmott, Chief Digital Adviser for LEGO Brands Group, one of the UK’s most experienced digital executives and thought leaders. Tom Read will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Government Digital Service. The appointments have been approved by the Prime Minister.

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Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service, the Central Digital and Data Office will shape strategy and assure delivery for Digital, Data and Technology across government. As Executive Director of the Central Digital and Data Office, Joanna Davinson will be the professional head of the government’s 18,000 strong Digital, Data and Technology profession and lead the Digital, Data and Technology function for Government.

As Chief Executive Officer of Government Digital Service, Tom Read will oversee the operation of their standards, controls and assurance functions, and enhance their focus on the development and delivery of new digital products and services.

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Together, they will be responsible for shaping and delivering the government’s innovation and transformation strategies to overhaul legacy IT systems, strengthen our cyber security, improve capability, and ensure the government can better leverage data and emerging technologies.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office, Julia Lopez MP said:

I’m delighted to announce these three impressive appointments, whose mix of skills and experience will enhance our Digital, Data and Technology leadership capability and make real our ambition to deliver the public with better, more personalised public services that will enhance our reputation as the world’s most digitally-advanced government.

Paul Willmott said:

This is an exciting and important moment for digital government in the UK. There is a clear mission to establish the UK as global leader in digital government and to provide citizens with better services. The ambition and challenges are substantial but, from what I’ve seen, we have both the capabilities and determination to succeed. I’m delighted to be able to help.

Joanna Davinson said:

It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen to lead the government Digital, Data and Technology profession and community and to have the opportunity to shape government digital, data and technology on a national scale. I am looking forward to working with department Chief Digital Information Officers and their teams and with other colleagues across government, to develop and deliver the strategies and plans that enable the UK to lead the way in serving its citizens by being one of the most digitally advanced governments in the world.

Tom Read said:

To have the opportunity to lead Government Digital Service into its next era is incredibly exciting and one that I cannot wait to get started on. Never has it been more important to build, deliver and support services that are fundamentally based on the needs of our users. I look forward to delivering a refreshed focus on the development and delivery of digital products and services underpinned by strong digital standards.

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