Who are central government’s highest-earning technology professionals?

Fewer than one in seven digital specialists to feature in annual rundown of Whitehall’s biggest earners are women, as NHS and Network Rail roles dominate


The NHS and Network Rail dominate the list of central government’s highest-paid digital and technology professionals.

The Cabinet Office has published its annual rundown of the best-paid employees of central government departments, agencies, and non-departmental public bodies. As of 30 September, there were 415 government officials paid £150,000 or more in real terms, with a further 26 part-time employees earning at least an equivalent amount on a pro rata basis.

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, is central government’s biggest earner, with a salary of between £745,000 and £749,999. This places him about £100,000 or more ahead of second-placed Mark Thurston, who takes home in excess of £600,000 as chief executive of High Speed Two.

The top 11 are all employees of Department for Transport-owned entities, including David Waboso, Network Rail’s managing director, group digital railway, who is ninth. His estimated salary of £380,000 to £384,999 makes him the highest-paid digital and technology professional in the government’s employ. His pay has increased by £30,000 since the publication of last year’s list.

The list contains a further 21 technologists earning £150,000 or more per annum in real terms. Five of these are employed by Network Rail, and six work for NHS England or NHS Digital.

Fewer than one in seven – three out of 22 – of the government’s highest-earning digital professionals are women. NHS Digital chief executive Sarah Wilkinson, with a pay packet of £190,000 to £194,999, is the government’s highest-paid woman in a technology role.

Central government’s highest-earning digital professionals

1. (9th overall) – David Waboso, managing director, group digital railway, Network Rail
£380,000 – £384,999

2. (Joint 39th) – Jeremy Vincent, group chief information officer, Network Rail
£230,000 – £234,999

3. (Joint 55th) – Adrian Simper, strategy and technology director, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority 
£210,000 – £214,999

=3. (Joint 55th) – Michael Flynn, transformation director, digital railway, Network Rail
£210,000 – £214,999

5. (Joint 74th) – Ruth McKernan, chief executive officer, Innovate UK
£200,000 to £204,999

=5. (Joint 74th) – Andrew Doherty, chief rail technology officer, Network Rail
£200,000 to £204,999

7. (Joint 94th) – Mayank Prakash, director general, IT and chief information officer, Department for Work and Pensions
£195,000 to £199,999

8. (Joint 104th) – Sarah Wilkinson – chief executive, NHS Digital
£190,000 to £194,999

9. (Joint 150th) – Keith McNeil, chief clinical information officer for health and social care, and NHS director of IT, NHS England 
£180,000 to £184,999

10. (Joint 208th) – Simon Atterwell – director, telecoms asset management, Network Rail
£170,000 to £174,999

11. (Joint 236th) – Will Smart, chief information officer, NHS England
£165,000 to £169,999,

12. (Joint 270th) – Bryan Clark, director of digital and change, HM Prisons and Probation Service, unchanged
£160,000 to £164,999

=12. (Joint 270th) – Kevin Gallagher director of digital and change, HM Courts and Tribunals Service
£160,000 to £164,999

=12. (Joint 270th) – Kevin Baughan, deputy chief executive, Innovate UK
£160,000 to £164,999

15. (Joint 314th) – Peter Short, national clinical lead, GP, NHS Digital
£155,000 to £159,999

=15. (Joint 314th) – Manpreet Pujara, clinical director for patient safety, NHS Digital
£155,000 to £159,999

=15. (Joint 314th) – Martin Elliot, director service design, Information Systems and Services, Ministry of Defence
£155,000 to £159,999

=15. (Joint 314th) – John Seglias, group chief digital and information officer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
£155,000 to £159,999

19. (Joint 358th) – Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer, NHS England
£150,000 to £154,999

=19. (Joint 358th) – Juan Villamil, director infrastructure and operations services, Department for Work and Pensions
£150,000 to £154,999

=19. (Joint 358th) – Kevin Cunnington, director general, Government Digital Service
£150,000 to £154,999 

= 19. (Joint 358th) – Nigel Shaw, chief information officer, Defence Equipment and Support
£150,000 to £154,999



Sam Trendall

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