The Home Office has merged its technology and digital units to form Home Office Digital, Data and Technology.
The Home Office has merged its IT units – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
The new unit, which came into force on 18 July, will be led by Sarah Wilkinson, former chief technology officer at the Home Office, who this week changed her LinkedIn profile to “chief digital, data and technology officer at the Home Office”.
Meanwhile, the Home Office has confirmed that Norman Driskell, the department’s former chief digital officer, had “decided to pursue opportunities outside the Home Office”.
According to ComputerWeekly, the new unit came into force after a review of the benefits of merging Home Office Digital and Home Office Technology carried out by EY.
The publication reports that a letter from Wilkinson said that the merger would create a “stronger, more capable team”, which would benefit from new skills and working styles, as well as allowing a front-to-back design approach.
She reportedly said Home Office Digital and Home Office Technology had been set up as separate entities “in line with the approach being taken across government and encouraged by the Government Digital Service”.
At the time, the skills in Home Office Digital were new to the Home Office, and the split allowed them the “space to develop into a series of highly professional teams”, the email said.
In a statement sent to PublicTechnology, the Home Office added: “The two teams already work incredibly closely. By formally bringing them together we create an even stronger unit.”
The move follows the news that the Home Office was bringing together all of its border IT services.
Last week, the department published a job advert for a director of border IT to oversee both the more defensive and intelligence data monitoring activities of the Border Force and those designed to ease entry into the UK, such as ePassport gates.
At the time, a spokesman from the Home Office said the director would report in to Home Office Technology, rather than the Border Force as the comparable role of director for digital services did.
Update: This article was updated at 3pm on 22 July to include the Home Office’s statement.