The government has announced that it has appointed Paul Maltby as director of data in the Cabinet Office.
Maltby takes on the role as Mike Bracken leaves the civil service – stepping down from his current dual role of government chief data officer and director of digital.
He moves from his current role as director of open data and government innovation at the Cabinet Office, where he has served since 2013.
In a blog post, Stephen Foreshew-Cain, who has replaced Bracken at the helm of the Government Digital Service, said: “Paul and his small team are busy planning the next steps. Getting data right is a fundamental part of the next phase of digital reform, and a vital building block for government as a platform. But the potential of data goes even further.”
Maltby worked for a spell as programme director for commissioning and academies at Leicestershire County Council. Prior to that, he worked as director of strategy at the Home Office, and was deputy director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit from 2003 to 2008.
Between 2001 and 2003 he worked as head of the public private partnerships team at think tank IPPR.
Listing GDS priorities going forward, Foreshew-Cain said that the unit would do more to communicate its plans for the future, focus on execution, move faster and continue to work with departments.
In March, GDS was given a role to oversee digital development by local authorities, but Foreshew-Cain did not make any reference to this work in listing future priorities.
He said that data should be valued as part of the UK’s national infrastructure, coordinated from the centre, but that GDS was “not trying to build a data empire”.
“There’s good work being done across government, and we want to support and encourage it,” he said. “Even as policy, governance and controls remain at the centre, it’s important that the management of data should remain with departments.”