Portfolio details confirmed for GDS minister Jeremy Quin

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 January 2020 in News

Horsham MP will assume responsibility for a number of agencies and operational areas

Credit: UK Parliament/CC BY 3.0

A full job specification has been confirmed for new Cabinet Office junior minister Jeremy Quin – including responsibility for the Government Digital Service and a range of other organisations.

Quin (pictured above) joined the central government department in mid-December, following former minister for implementation Simon Hart’s promotion to a position as secretary of state for Wales. The Horsham MP’s precise role and duties were not immediately specified but, later in the month, Quin’s own website confirmed his title as minister for implementation, while GOV.UK has now provided a list of responsibilities.

The portfolio appears to be identical to that of his predecessor – meaning that Quin has become the eighth minister to hold responsibility for GDS in the space of less than five years. 

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Alongside the digital agency, he will also assume ministerial accountability for the Geospatial Commission and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. Also included on a wide-ranging list of duties are oversight of: government property; the civil service’s commercial function and models; the Government Security Group; public appointments; fraud, error, debts and grants; commercial, digital and property controls; cybersecurity and resilience; shared services; and civil service HR. 

Quin will also be expected to support minister for the Cabinet Office Oliver Dowden in his work on “cross-government delivery and implementation”.

“I am greatly honoured to have been appointed to serve as a minister,” Quin wrote on his website. “As minister for implementation, the role is at the heart of the government and I am delighted to be supporting the prime minister in driving forward the government’s ambitious agenda and ensuring our machinery of government is optimised to deliver for the country.”

Following the conclusion in spring 2015 of Francis Maude’s five-year stint in the Cabinet Office, seven people have since held the ministerial reins of GDS – five of whom did so for less than 12 months.

Dowden’s 18-month spell as minister for implementation – which ended with his ascension to the Cabinet Office’s top job in July 2019 – made him the longest-serving of these. Matt Hancock was the only other minister to oversee GDS’s work for more than a year.

The latest person to do so takes on his new role after two years as a government whip, most recently in the role of lord commissioner at HM Treasury. Quin has been a member of parliament since 2015 and has been elected by constituents in the West Sussex town of Horsham at the last three elections. 

In the general election last month, the Aylesbury-born MP retained his seat with a commanding majority – albeit one that was eroded slightly by a big boost in the Liberal Democrats’ performance, in an area that narrowly voted in favour of remain in the 2016 EU referendum. 


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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