The government's chief information officer (CIO) Joe Harley has announced he is to retire from his role in the spring of 2012, just days after his deputy declared his intention to quit Whitehall and take up a post in the private sector.
Harley has been in the role for just under a year following his appointment in January 2011 and has also worked as the CIO for the Department for Work and Pensions for the past seven years.
His resignation follows on from the news that deputy CIO Bill McCluggage is to leave the government at the start of the New Year to take up a role with storage firm EMC.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude thanked Harley for his time in office and said his work in overhauling the government's approach to IT projects would leave a strong legacy.
"Harley has played an integral role in the past year as government CIO – he has led the delivery of a new ICT strategy and strategic implementation plan," he said.
"[His legacy] ensures the old siloed way of developing government ICT projects comes to an end, and leaves us with departments working together to produce a fit-for-purpose and cost-effective ICT system potentially saving £1.4bn over the next four years."
The DWP said it would run the process for appointing a replacement CIO for its department, while the recruitment of a new government CIO and deputy CIO would be handled by the Cabinet Office.
The government CIO before Harley was John Suffolk, who in August announced he will begin work for Chinese networking firm Huawei, underlining the ability of the private sector to tempt key public sector staff with improved pay and benefits.
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