London borough creates tech-centric assistant CEO role to drive service transformation
The London Borough of Newham has named Amit Shanker to the newly created role of assistant CEO – chief digital officer.
The post comes with a remit to “improve residents’ digital experience – which has been identified as critical to improving every aspect of the council’s service delivery”, the local authority said. Digital public services are seen as key to delivering the council’s wider four-year ‘Building a Fairer Newham’ plan, it added.
Shanker joins the east London authority from his previous posting as head of data and analytics at regulator the Financial Conduct Authority. In a career that has spanned more than 20 years, the technology leader has also held senior roles at Microsoft, HSBC and Nokia.
In his new role, he will spearhead all digital, data and technology operations for the council, and will be “responsible for every aspect of resident’s and council staff’s digital experience”.
“This is a very exciting opportunity to bring the best of private sector learning into local government with chance to have fundamental impact on the way in which residents interact and access services,” he said. “The London Borough of Newham is the most diverse and dynamic borough in the UK and I am looking forward to delivering improvements that are part of the journey to transforming resident experience, improving outcomes and delivering lasting value for money to the council.”
With a population of more than 350,000 people, Newham is one of the capital’s most populous boroughs and, according to government figures, it is the most ethically diverse local-authority area in the UK.
The council is currently delivering the second phase of a digital experience programme which, according to a recently published commercial notices, will encompass work in four key areas: user experience of our web services; digital discovery projects; integrated case management; and engagement and outreach to citizens.
In 2021, the authority also launched the Newham Sparks initiative, which sets out to make the borough “London’s destination for innovators and investors in the growing data sector”.
Shanker will play a key role in delivering that programme, according to Newham interim chief executive Colin Ansell.
“Amit is a world-class digital expert who brings second to none expertise into Newham and will support us as we deliver our corporate plan, particularly in delivering the Newham Sparks programme. His appointment is an important step within our reorganisation of the council to meet the ambition of ‘Building a Fairer Newham’ and applying best thinking in digital to get things done for the benefit of residents and against our overall ambition for the borough. I am looking forward to working with him over the coming years.”