Supplier body welcomes new Bracken role

ICT industry representative body TechUK has welcomed the government’s announcement that Government Digital Service chief Mike Bracken will become the government’s first chief data officer.

Bracken’s new role was announced earlier this week by minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.

TechUK sees the appointment as meeting its recommendation in last year’s Manifesto for Growth and Jobs for a new chief privacy officer to increase the public’s trust in the government’s use of data.

Bracken’s role will involve developing a new Government Data Standard, championing open data, and encouraging the use of data in the decision-making process, according to a statement from the Cabinet Office.

It said that he will also lead on developing greater data analysis skills and capability across government.

Julian David, techUK CEO said:“The appointment of the chief data officer, which delivers against the recommendation in our Manifesto, is vital to providing senior level leadership to drive this important topic. 

“In his new role, Mike Bracken will need to strike a balance between open data and inspiring confidence in the general public in how government uses their data.

“It’s important to remember that this also includes the management of commercial business data, which if not managed correctly could impact businesses and jobs.”

David also welcomed an announcement by the Cabinet Office that it will force suppliers to be more transparent over their contracts with government departments.

He said: “We agree with the CBI that greater transparency will better enable the public to judge efficiencies. 

“In our Three Point Plan, we called for greater transparency and coordination of data from government projects, and we welcome the introduction measures that addresses that goal. 

“However, government needs to look beyond supplier margins and take a rounded approach in order to become a more skilful customer and improve industry and public sector performance, in order to secure greater efficiencies for citizens.”

Colin Marrs

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