Civil service top dog Manzoni to leave government
As Cabinet Office perm sec, departing CEO oversaw digital transformation agenda
Credit: Cabinet Office
Sir John Manzoni, the permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office and the chief executive of the civil service, is to leave his role later this year.
Manzoni has been chief executive of the civil service since October 2014, and added the post of Cabinet Office permanent secretary in August 2015. In this role, he has oversight of agencies including the Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service.
His five-year tenure as Whitehall CEO was due to end last year, but was extended last autumn to provide continuity for the following months, according to the Cabinet Office.
During his time in government, Manzoni has often spoken of the important role played by digital and data in delivering transformation and breaking the barriers to cross-departmental collaboration.
- Civil service chief John Manzoni urges change as data revolution ‘comes for government’
- John Manzoni: ‘Government ‘requires hundreds of digital specialists’
- ‘This is absolutely not about gathering personal data for political purposes’
“We are in a transformation journey across government; we have done a lot, but there is lots more to do,” he said in 2017. “Transformation is at the heart of the changes we are trying to put in place. It means breaking down siloes and working more collaboratively, with a more focused approach to sharing data – both within government and with the outside world.”
The following year he told civil servants that robotics and automation technologies were tools they should “embrace, rather than fear”.
He returned to the theme of breaking siloes at GDS’s annual Sprint event in September 2019, when he described the need to deliver EU exit as an “enormous opportunity” to break through Whitehall divisions and promote collaboration.
The soon-to-depart chief has also praised the digital agency’s response to Brexit.
During a 2018 visit to GDS headquarters he said: “To deliver EU exit, GDS has risen to the challenge. [I see] an organisation buzzing with ideas, not afraid to break the mould, and working hard to deliver a real difference to the way government works.”
Manzoni has implemented a number of reforms, most notably developing the functional model across government. This has been intended to develop the skills available in government across key areas: finance, analysis, legal, digital, commercial, property, communications, project delivery and human resources.
His departure comes amid rumours of a planned wide-ranging revamp of the machinery of government, which reports suggest could include a shake-up of departments and a series of changes being proposed by Dominic Cummings, the prime minister's most senior adviser.
Poor use and presentation of information means government has ‘missed chances to save lives’, according to report from Full Fact
Study from IfG shows heavy recruitment across first three quarters of 2020
UK’s top two civil servants should be handed more responsibility as part of drive to make Cabinet Office more effective, says IfG
Keeper of the National Archives Jeff James on how coronavirus has reinforced the importance of public information
Defence Medical Services (DMS) is pursuing ground-breaking digital, data and technology transformation which will revolutionise Tri-Service healthcare provision to over 135,000 Armed...
OneTrust presents the reasons why your organisation should invest in privacy management - and offers three easy tips for getting started
The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...
One Trust breaks down the modular approach of the new SCCs