Essex offers £119k for tech services head

Role comes with remit to serve as ‘internal change partner’

Essex County Council is offering a salary of up to £119,000 a year in its bid to recruit a director of technology services.

The authority said that the successful applicant will “act as an ‘internal change partner’ to service leaders across the council”. This will involve advising managers on how they could best use technology to improve service delivery.

The tech services director, who will oversee a team of 150 people, will also be responsible for “ensuring that systems are flexible and scalable and can adapt well to changes in demand or specification”, the council said.

“We’re looking for an individual with a convincing grasp of the current digital landscape, who can ask the right questions of others to arrive at the best outcomes,” it added. “But you’ll also need to assure of your wider management and leadership credentials – covering budget management, procurement of technology and crucially, management of people.”

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The council has set out a vision for its use of the technology over the coming years. The plan features seven principles, including use of open standards and interoperability, supporting remote working, and a pledge to “buy technology services, rather than buy and maintain technology”.

The ultimate goal of the vision is that “by 2021 we will be delivering outstanding outcomes and experience enabled by modern, connected technology”.

The technology services function forms part of the portfolio of Essex’s executive director for corporate development, Jason Kitcat. In an introductory note for applicants, he claimed that the 2017/18 year had seen the council deliver budget savings of £111m.

“Despite ongoing pressures, the council continues to make significant investments in new capabilities and technologies,” Kitcat said. “This has included adopting the Government Service Standard, using agile and design-led techniques and putting the citizen at the centre of all that we do.”

He added: “The scale and complexity of Essex can be challenging, but a successful tenure here will embellish anyone’s professional reputation.”

Applications are open until 26 February.

Sam Trendall

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