Tech chief sought to oversee transformation of vetting services

Newly created post will support the creation of a technology strategy for UKSV

Credit: Pxfuel

The government’s vetting agency is seeking to recruit a chief technology officer to spearhead a two-year programme of transformation.

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) is offering a salary of up to £117,800 for the newly created position. The postholder will “be accountable for architecture, infrastructure, engineering, development and system security and performance as well as setting the strategic direction and standards for UKSV’s digital, data and technology platform”.

The agency, which last year moved from the Ministry of Defence to the Cabinet Office, is preparing to “go through a period of significant change over the next two years”. 

The focus of these changes will be “the transformation of vetting services” delivered by the organisation; this includes a range of processes related to national security, beginning with the baseline personnel security standard which applies to all civil servants, military personnel, and contractors, up through counter-terrorist checks and standard and enhanced security checks, and onto the top-level enhanced developed vetting – a standard which is applied only to a “very small number of posts” at the highest levels of government and the armed forces.

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In overseeing this transformation agenda, the CTO will be charged with “developing a robust technology strategy to address not only the need for a new operating platform and its interface with Cabinet Office digital, data and technology systems, but also to develop the technological strategy to address the fast moving area of DDaT development”.

The job advert said: “The technology function is likely to continue to expand to meet the future technological demands of UKSV, ensuring the successful development and roll out of the Future Vetting System (FVS) to replace the current National Security Vetting System (NSVS) and to ensure the ongoing viability and development of FVS to meet the future needs of service users. In addition to this, there is likely to be significant requirement to provide technical solutions to integrate other organisations’ data into the vetting process to ensure full oversight of relevant third-party information and, given the ongoing development and advances in technology, the postholder will have to ensure that UKSV capability remains current and able to respond timely to change. As the role and responsibilities continue to develop there is likely to be an increase in budget and staff responsibility to meet these changes.”

Although it is only a few years old, replacement of the NSVS platform is already more than 18 months overdue. After a damning 2018 report from the National Audit Office that found the digital system was costing £17m a year in ineffeciencies, the Cabinet Office said that it planned to finish developing and implementing a replacement by January 2020.

In its new home in the centre of government, UKSV forms part of the Government Security Group. The CTO role will be based primarily at either the organisations its headquarters in York or offices in Glasgow. Both of these locations are currently expanding, with a number of roles to be filled.

Applications for chief technology officer post are open until 5 September.


Sam Trendall

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