Whitehall ops chief to stand down

Alex Chisholm, who also serves as Cabinet Office permanent secretary and has played a key role in driving digital reforms, is to leave government in the spring after 10 years

Alex Chisholm has announced that he will step down as Cabinet Office permanent secretary and civil service chief operating officer in the spring.

Chisholm joined the department in April 2020 after four years as permanent secretary of the then Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said that Chisholm has “announced his decision not to seek a further term as chief operating officer for the Civil Service and Cabinet Office permanent secretary, and will leave the Cabinet Office at the end of his four year contract next spring”.

“A recruitment process will begin shortly for his successor,” they added.

As civil service chief operating officer Chisholm has helped to drive digital reform and promote better data literacy across government.

Speaking to PublicTechnology last year to mark the publication of government’s digital and data strategy, Chisholm set out for three core objectives for the three-year plan, the first of which is to “exceed expectations” by delivering “policies and services that are really user-centric and fit for the digital age” .

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“Equipping civil servants for this digital reality” is the second central ambition, he added. The third central ambition was to “recognise that digital and data are key to providing a more efficient service, a lower cost service, and better standards… and also to do that in a way that is really secure,” Chisholm said.

Prior to becoming BEIS perm sec, Chisholm was briefly perm sec of the Department for Energy and Climate Change and also ran the Competition and Markets Authority from 2013 to 2016.

PublicTechnology staff

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