The government has continued its trend of looking to industry to fill senior IT positions, with its appointment of a new chief information officer for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
DWP said that former global chief operating officer of ICI Paints, Joe Harley, will take responsibility for the £3bn IT programme underway in the department.
Harley's remit includes improving IT delivery within the DWP, which has suffered from ongoing IT system problems at the Child Support Agency.
The department is also on the threshold of introducing a new IT system to underpin its Pension Credits, which will be available to 2.8 million households.
"I am very excited to be joining the department which has such a progressive change programme," said Harley.
Harley's excitement will no doubt be tempered by the knowledge that he will be subject to intense scrutiny. The House of Commons Work and Pensions Sub-Committee is expected to report shortly on its investigation into the administration of government IT projects.
The decision to hire Harley continues a trend of making high-level IT appointments outside of the civil service.
Former management consultant Richard Granger took charge of the £2.3bn IT modernisation programme for the NHS in 2002.
Other positions, such as the head of e-government and the chief information officer for the merged Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, are expected to go to candidates from outside the civil service.
Prior to working at ICI Paints Harley also worked for oil giant BP.
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