UK Government CIO takes on new role. Ian Watmore will lead the drive to deliver the Prime Minister's public service priorities and act as his key advisor on delivery.
The Prime Minister has appointed Ian Watmore, the current UK Government CIO and Head of the eGovernment Unit, as the new Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, effective from 9 January 2006.
16 diciembre 2005. Ovum. Eric Woods

He will also be at the forefront of the Cabinet Secretary's programme for improving the delivery capability of the Civil Service. He will retain overall management responsibility for the office of the CIO and the eGovernment Unit, but will oversee the appointment of a new CIO in the new year.

Comment: This news reflects the effect that Ian Watmore has had since his appointment. It may be too early to judge the ultimate success of most of his initiatives at the eGovernment Unit, but he has already provided a fresh impetus to the government's IT agenda, and with the transformational strategy document published last month has set out an ambitious roadmap for public-sector IT over the next five years and beyond.

The fresh impetus that this has brought to issues such as cross-government working through the CIO Council, IT professionalisation, and the move to shared services already marks a step change in the recognition of the potential, and challenges, offered by IT at the highest levels of government.

His new appointment will hopefully be an important step in making sure that these developments actually become part of the fabric of public service provision in the UK. An important element of this will be the successful forging of closer links between the public-sector IT agenda and the business changes in the civil service been driven by Sir Gus O'Donnell.

If there is a concern over this new appointment, it will be over the potential disruption to the ongoing work of the CIO Office and eGovernment Unit. The Government's e-government strategy has already suffered from several changes of responsibility at the ministerial level over the last 18 months. Ian Watmore's continued supervisory role should help diminish the impact of his move - but also leads one to ask how the role of the new UK CIO, following in his footsteps and reporting to him, will be scoped?

Cabinet Office Press Release
Ian Watmore appointed Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit

15 December 2005
CAB 071/05

Following the Prime Minister's announcement today, Sir Gus O'Donnell, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service, welcomed the appointment of Ian Watmore as Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit effective from January 9th 2006.

In this role Ian Watmore will lead the drive to deliver the Prime Minister's top public service priorities and act as his key advisor on delivery. Additionally, he will be at the forefront of the Cabinet Secretary's mission to improve the delivery capability of the Civil Service as well as retaining overall management responsibility for the office of the Chief Information Officer.

Ian Watmore will be accountable to the Prime Minister and report to Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary.

Sir Gus O'Donnell said:

”This is excellent news. Ian Watmore is one the civil service's most successful recruits from the private sector. I look forward to him bringing his expertise and vigour to the Delivery Unit. Ian's work on the Transformational Government strategy demonstrated his personal commitment to improving public services and a capability to deliver within the Whitehall environment. He is ideally placed to deliver the capability reviews of departments announced in October.”

Ian Watmore said:

”I am honoured to be appointed in this role and wish to build on the outstanding achievements of the team led by my predecessor, Sir Michael Barber, and continue to help implement the business transformation of Government itself.”

Notes to editors

1. Mr Watmore, 47, has been Government Chief Information Officer and Head of eGovernment since September 2004. Prior to that he was Managing Director of Accenture UK from 2000. Mr Watmore will continue to report directly to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell. He will also continue to have managerial responsibility for the eGovernment Unit and will oversee the appointment of his successor as Chief Information Officer, who will report to him.

2. The Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) was established in 2001 with a remit to strengthen the Government's ability to deliver the Prime Minister's key public service priorities. The PMDU works closely in partnership with Number 10, other parts of the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and other stakeholder Departments in order to assess delivery and provide advice and guidance on ways to achieve step–change improvements in performance. Ian Watmore's role covers the focus on the Prime Minister's key delivery priorities, and the implementation of the Transformational Government strategy. The Delivery Unit has also recently taken on the task of developing and, in due course, delivering reviews of Departments' capabilities, as announced by Sir Gus in his appearance before the Public Administration Select Committee in October.

3. As well as these arrangements at the centre, the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, with the agreement of the Prime Minister has recently announced some changes to the governance arrangements for the civil service. A more transparent, more flexible set of arrangements will operate in future. The Civil Service Management Board will be replaced with a Permanent Secretaries Management Group on which all first Permanent Secretaries will be represented. It will be supported by a small Steering Group which will meet more frequently. The groups, both chaired by Sir Gus O'Donnell, will focus on a wide range of issues of relevance across the Civil Service. More details are available on the Cabinet Office website.

Cabinet Office
Press Office
70 Whitehall

Ian Watmore, UK Government CIO and Head of e-Government Unit

Ian took up the position of UK Government CIO and Head of e-Government Unit in September 2004. He joins from global management and technology services company Accenture where he was UK Managing Director.

He has worked in both the public and private sectors, mainly in the UK and Ireland but with spells in South Africa, New Zealand, United States and mainland Europe. Ian is a past President of the Management Consultants Association, Chairs the CIO Board of eSkills UK (the Sector Skills Council for IT and Telecommunications) and previously represented Accenture on various external bodies such as the Council for Industry and Higher Education and Business in the Community.

In a personal capacity he is on the Board of the English Institute for Sport, a Lottery funded institute focused on serving high performance athletes in preparation for Olympic and other major sporting events. Ian is married with four sons and lives in the North West. He is a lifelong supporter of Arsenal.