DWP confirms digital team to take on more responsibilities

Written by Rebecca Hill on 1 September 2016 in News
News

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that it is bringing all technology and digital roles into its digital team.

The Department for Work and Pensions' digital team will also work on data, security, enterprise and IT - Photo credit: PA Images

Mayank Prakash, the department’s chief of digital, said that this would cover digital design, enterprise, IT, data and security.

The move was revealed by PublicTechnology last month after the surprise announcement that Kevin Cunnnington, DWP’s director general of business transformation, was leaving to take over as head of the Government Digital Service.

At the time, DWP said that Prakash would take on some of Cunnington’s responsibilities in a newly created role of chief digital and information officer – Prakash had formerly been director general for digital technology.


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In a blogpost published today, Prakash confirmed the change, setting out some of the areas DWP Digital would focus on, as well as noting that the department’s digital transformation was being carried out on a “massive scale”.

He said that DWP Digital would aim to design and deliver integrated products that can be run as secure and reliable products to improve society and user experience as well as increasing the department’s efficiency.

“We’re combining design-thinking and digital technology with our social purpose to create exciting and innovative products and services which improve outcomes for 22 million people,” Prakash said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, not least because of the huge scale of our work and the amount of data we’re responsible for.”

As an example, Prakash said that DWP is working on new ways to protect data, such as ensuring that phone calls with customers are faster and more secure.

The department is also looking to recruit a new chief data officer, who will be responsible for leading the team driving the digital side of reforms to the DWP’s work, including using data to automate decisions and managing fraud, error and debt.

Prakash’s blogpost also wished Cunnington the best in his new role at GDS, adding: “I am committed to building on the good work in Business Transformation and Technology Groups to ensure our services are built using agile principles putting users first.”

Meanwhile, Cunnington, who has been leading GDS since the start of August when Stephen Foreshew-Cain stepped down with immediate effect, had his official last day at DWP yesterday.

In a departing blogpost, Cunnington said that the department was “well on the way” to transforming the way it designs, builds and provides services for users.

“When we formed [the business transformation group] three years ago, I said that our abiding legacy would be delivered through the outcomes resulting from transforming our services, and the changes to the way the department thinks and works,” Cunnington wrote. “We have done just that - I can’t thank everyone enough for their enthusiasm, contribution and support.”

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