Ex-HMRC and NHS chief nets top data job in Whitehall

potterThe Government might be in turmoil but there is now stability in the Cabinet Office at least with the appointment of new chief digital officer Mike Potter, who has been recruited following a search that kicked off in February.

Potter has been handed the most senior role in digital, data and technology in Whitehall on a salary of £190,000, £30,000 more than the new Prime Minister will command.

He succeeds Joanna Davinson in the autumn, heading up the Central Digital & Data Office inside the Cabinet Office and reporting to chief operating officer of the Civil Service Alex Chisholm.

In his new role, Potter will be responsible for shaping and delivering the Government’s digital, data and technology transformation to deliver better services, for improving data-driven decision-making across Government, and for managing technology related risks.

This will also include overhauling the Government’s legacy IT systems, establishing cross government enterprise architecture, updating its approach to data and analytics, strengthening its cyber security, and upgrading digital, data and tech talent and skills.

Ultimately, he will be in charge of the Government’s 20,000 strong digital, data and tech community.

Potter is currently chief strategy officer at digital consultancy Tecknuovo. Before that he spent nearly three years with Thames Water, first as chief technology officer then executive director of digital transformation.

He also spent over three years at HMRC, leading its digital transformation, and five years at NHS Blood & Transplant, also on business transformation. In addition, Potter has held senior roles at The Environment Agency and Boots.

He commented: “I’m delighted to be returning to public service at such an important time. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across the civil service to continue to grow the digital skills we need for the future and deliver the roadmap for digital and data.”

Just last month, the Government unveiled its new plan to build the economy and create more high-skilled, high wage jobs by cementing the UK as a global tech superpower, claiming the new strategy will build on the UK’s position as Europe’s leading destination for starting and growing digital businesses.

Marking the start of London Tech Week, the new UK Digital Strategy brings cross-government tech and digital policies together in one “roadmap” for ensuring digital technology, infrastructure and data drives economic growth and innovation in the coming years.

The plan will lead to new jobs, skills and services that benefit and level up the whole of the UK, ministers claim.

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