The government has appointed its first chief digital officer for the Cabinet Office, who will be tasked with driving the government's digital by default strategy across the department.
Conall Bullock (pictured) will be responsible for the technology and digital services used across the Cabinet Office, as well as pushing for the department to make better use of modern digital technology.
He will also be required to recruit and lead a new digital and technology team to deliver "modern, flexible, digital and technology services" to the Cabinet Office with a focus on maintaining service standards and being cost-effective.
Cabinet Office permanent secretary Richard Heaton, to whom Bullock will report, revealed the appointment in a post on Twitter.
The position will encompass the duties of chief information officer, chief technology officer and chief digital officer.
The job specification for the chief digital officer shows that Bullock is expected to lead a significant cultural change in the Cabinet Office and introduce new processes and procedures.
Bullock will need to adopt the government's move away from lengthy IT supplier contracts and outsourcing to shorter, flexible contracts facilitated by in-house technology capability.
In effect, he will create a condensed form of the Government Digital Service, the department responsible for driving technological change in the public sector.
The Cabinet Office acts as a coordinator of other government departments, and it seems likely that any changes made by Bullock will filter down to other areas of the public sector.
Bullock brings a wealth of experience in technology leadership to the role, having set up his own IT consultancy, XcIT, in 2012. He was head of IT for Bracknell Forest Homes, and worked in IT director roles for several charities.
Mike Bracken, Whitehall's newly appointed chief data officer, also took to Twitter to welcome Bullock.
.@conallbullock Enjoy your new role in Cabinet Office. Delighted you are here...— Mike Bracken (@MTBracken) April 9, 2015
Bullock will be in a positon to drive digital change in the Cabinet Office, but the practicalities of the task may not be straightforward to deliver.
A recent IT failure forced the government to abandon the online part of a £154m farm payment system and revert to paper forms, representing a metaphorical kick in the teeth for the government's digital by default policy.
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