New GDS hire will oversee plan to share common digital infrastructure – and team is looking beyond Whitehall
The Government Digital Service is on the lookout for a £100,000-a-year programme director to help sell its ambitious “Government as a Platform” project to departments and ministers.
GDS – part of the Cabinet Office – was set up in the last parliament to provide a dedicated central government digital team, overhauling the state’s online presence under the GOV.UK banner and seeking to change the way government deals with IT suppliers.
Its “Government as a Platform” (GaaP) plan aims to allow departments to benefit from using the same digital platforms rather than have them rying to solve common problems from scratch. Key GaaP iniatives underway include a payments system dubbed GOV.UK Pay and the GOV.UK Notify project to allow government agencies to send text and e-mail notifications to citizens in a bid to cut paperwork and reduce in-bound call volumes.
GDS is now hunting for an official to head up its GaaP efforts, with the programme director role including “advocating and effectively explaining the need for GaaP to board-level senior officials, ministers and external stakeholders”.
According a job ad posted on GOV.UK, the new programme director will be responsible for a budget “in excess” of £15m per year, and will lead the “strategic direction and business priorities” for the development of the GaaP programme.
The role will also involve helping departments draw up business cases for adopting GaaP initiatives, with the successful candidate working as part of the government-wide Digital Group Management Team “to coordinate and align the goals of GaaP with cross-government work”.
The programme director will be classed as Senior Civil Service Pay Band 1, and the ad says the successful candidate – who must have “the ability to inspire and motivate people at all levels” – can expect to earn in the region of £100,000 per year.
Explaining the thinking behind the appointment, the GOV.UK job posting says: “Over the last parliament a department by department and service by service approach was taken to reforming digital services. Whilst this has delivered some improved services, the scale and pace of change and cost savings required over this parliament cannot be achieved without taking an aggregate approach across government.”
The ad also makes clear that the GDS will consider looking beyond Whitehall in making the appointment.
“Previous experience of leadership in government is not required but you will be expected to quickly get up to speed with the programme’s architecture, culture and processe,” it states.
Candidates have until April 25 to throw their hat into the ring, with interviews expected to get underway in late May.