HMRC starts search for permanent chief digital information officer

Written by Rebecca Hill on 10 April 2017 in News

Tax authority offers £180,000 for digital DG some six months after Mark Dearnley headed back to the private sector

HMRC is seeking a CDIO - Photo credit: PA

The government is looking for an experienced and successful IT leader to take on the “substantial and challenging” role of chief digital information officer of HMRC.

The advert, posted at the end of last week, comes six months after the former CDIO, Mark Dearnley, left the position - the role has been filled on an interim basis by Mike Potter, who was previously director of digital transformation, since September 2016.

The position, which is listed as a director general role and advertised at up to £180,000, will involve overseeing the tax authority’s digital strategy and transformation, as well as playing a leading role in cross-government transformation work.

“This role is one of the most challenging and exciting technology roles in the civil service. We have a stretching agenda to deliver, and we need an exceptional leader to help us do so”, said HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson in the foreword to the recruitment pack.

“Operating on a stage this big is not for everyone. But if you really see your future as a transformational technology leader then we have an opportunity that very few other organisations can match.”

Related content

Inconsistent leadership could scupper replacement of Aspire contract, HMRC told
HMRC chief ‘confident’ team can build on progress of departing CDIO
Do you know the right class for your data?

The new recruit will come into the department as it aims to overhaul a complex IT estate with a range of legacy systems and become the world’s most digitally-advanced tax authority, an effort into which HMRC has invested £1.3bn.

They will also have to manage the department’s effort to exit Whitehall’s highest-value IT contract - the £10bn Aspire contract - a process that various committees have criticised for “lacking rigour” and being too reliant on the technical capability of the suppliers Capgemini.

More recent reports have indicated that HMRC is making better progress in turning things around, but the Public Accounts Committee stressed in July 2016 that “firm and consistent leadership” would be needed to make the work a success.

Meanwhile, the authority has a range of other ongoing technology programmes, including an increased use of robotic automation services and a strong focus on big data. HMRC is bringing all of its data - between 1 and 5 petabytes - into a single Enterprise Data Hub, which will allow HMRC to up its use of data analytics while also decommissioning its costly data warehouse.

HMRC is also transforming its estates - it plans to cut its offices from 170 in 2015 to just 13 regional centres and four specialist sites by 2021 - and reduce the number of staff working in the department, and focus them in more highly-skilled roles.

The new recruit will lead on the digital strategy for the department, make sure that the department’s change programme is aligned with the overarching priorities, and manage HMRC’s CDIO group, which employs 2,200 people and has an expenditure of more than £800m.

The job specification said that applicants should have extensive experience in managing and overseeing complex IT environments and operations, a track record of leading digital strategies and the ability to to challenge, influence and debate with other high-level executives.

The closing date for applications is 5 May, with the final interviews to be held in the last week of June.

As well as Thompson, the selection panel will also include the Government Digital Service’s director general Kevin Cunnington, who is also co-chair of the government’s Transformation Peer group, that aims to bring together expertise and help Whitehall leaders share best practice.

Share this page




Joe Soap (not verified)

Submitted on 10 April, 2017 - 13:12
It would be interesting to know how the £180 salary compares to comparalble jobs in the private sector.

Add new comment

Related Articles

Sadiq Khan seeks first chief digital officer for London
4 May 2017

Job offered at £107,000 as London Office for Data Analytics pilot indicates initial successes

WannaCry NHS attack - busting the myths
21 June 2017

Des Ward, information governance director at Innopsis, reflects on the real story behind the WannaCry cyber-attack.

Related Sponsored Articles

Defence in a digital and disruptive era: innovation in IT
8 June 2017

BT looks at turning points within the UK defence sector, the evolving nature of warfare and how new cyber-attacks pose new questions for our national defence

Impact of AI on UK jobs market divides opinion, says BT survey
14 June 2017

BT finds that IT Directors disagree over whether Artificial Intelligence will create or displace jobs

How big data is helping to transform the defence sector
8 June 2017

Bill Holford explores how big data is changing modern warfare, and argues for a defence big data strategy to ensure we are making the most of the opportunities ahead