GDS seeks new GOV.UK leadership

Roles as director and head of technology up for grabs

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

The Government Digital Service is recruiting for new leadership for the GOV.UK platform.

The digital agency is advertising the role of director of GOV.UK – a position which comes with overall responsibility for the online infrastructure – as well as a post as head of technology and architecture.

The leadership recruitment drive comes as GDS works on a programme to explore the impementation of online accounts for citizens to use across GOV.UK. This would enable users to have a single login through which they could access services delivered by a range of departments, as well as relevant account information.

The director will oversee this work, as well as holding ultimate accountability for the site’s operation, and setting its strategic direction. The chosen candidate, who will earn an annual salary of up to £110,000, will directly manage two deputy directors and sit at the head of a team of 220 people.

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The job advert said: “As the director, GOV.UK you will: work with senior colleagues in No. 10 and the Government Communication Service (GCS), to lead cross-government editorial planning around key government events; own and iterate a long-term vision and strategy for GOV.UK’s platform and content; act as a vocal and visible ambassador for the strategic use of GOV.UK by central government lead content operations in GDS, comprising the central content and service design teams; ensure the effective management of the GOV.UK budget; [and] be a member of the GDS executive team, jointly leading the organisation to support the digital transformation of government.”

Working underneath the director will be a new head of technology and architecture for GOV.UK. The postholder of the £85,000-a-year post comes will be “responsible for designing and implementing the technical and architectural requirements of the GOV.UK programme”. 

The successful applicant will “lead the engineering and architecture functions across software, applications, and infrastructure for GOV.UK, and develop these functions to support and facilitate the GOV.UK strategy.” They will also “be accountable for the security, availability, and resilience of the technical services that GOV.UK builds”.

Candidates have until 29 November to apply for the role, while the director position is accepting applications until 6 December.

GOV.UK was first implemented in 2012 to unify a patchwork of government websites and bring organisations together on a single platform. To host a website on a platform other than GOV.UK, a government agency must be given an exemption to do so. GDS announced in August that it is reviewing the current list of exemptions that have been granted.

“As GOV.UK continues to develop and provide greater functionality, there will be less of a case for exemptions from the site,” it said.


Sam Trendall

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