Defra seeks leaders for legacy app modernisation programme

Written by Sam Trendall on 20 October 2021 in News

Roles come with potential annual pay packet of £70,000

Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking a pair of leaders to spearhead a programme to update ageing software programs throughout the department and its many arm’s-length bodies.

Defra’s Legacy Applications Programme (LAP) is recruiting for two programme manager positions. Each role comes with a salary of between £57,114 and £71,019 and offers the option of working in any Defra office around the country – although, as with many of the department’s current vacancies, the advert warns that “space within the London office is restricted and it may not be possible to be based in this location”.

The two appointees will help lead a “large-scale, fast-paced, complex, multi-year programme of work” to help update technologies currently in use across the Defra Group, which encompasses the ministerial department, and its biggest agencies, including Natural England, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the Rural Payments Agency, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the Marine Management Organisation, and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

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“[The programme is] looking at application modernisation and transition across the Defra Group estate with a substantial strategic vision. This is an exciting time to join and develop the programme as it moves into the next phase of delivery,” the job advert said. “The programme manager will lead a defined set of IT-related interdependent projects and associated IT and business change activities with a high degree of complexity. The… role has primary responsibility for the delivery of technical and business-impacting change and successful outcomes.”

The LAP scheme is being led by Defra’s Digital, Data and Technology Services function, a collection of 800 specialists who provides tech expertise and project-management support across the Defra Group.

“We have shared responsibility for shaping and delivering the government’s innovation and transformation strategies to overhaul legacy IT systems, strengthen our cybersecurity, improve capability, and ensure the government can better leverage data and emerging technologies,” Defra said. “Our ambition is to make it easier and faster than ever for people to interact with Defra. To achieve this, we are continuously designing, building and supporting innovative user-centred digital technology.”

Applications for the programme manager roles are open until 11.55pm on 1 November.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on


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