Iain Patterson, a big advocate of digital transformation in the public sector, is to leave his role as director of common technology services (CTS) at the Government Digital Service (GDS) after just 18 months at the helm.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: "We can confirm that Iain Patterson is leaving GDS. We would like to thank him for his valued contribution and wish him success in the future."
It is the latest in a long line of departures from GDS and, perhaps, the highest-profile exit since the departure of the head of GDS, Mike Bracken, in 2015.
Patterson had been a part of GDS prior to leaving for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to become chief technology officer.
Before coming back to GDS as the director of CTS, he told V3's sister title Computing that while he was sad to see Bracken leave, it was an opportunity for an organisational ‘refresh'.
"There's only so long you can keep bashing the same [strategy] and Mike knew that: the strategy was set, he set those [goals] with Stephen [Foreshaw-Cain] before he was going," he said at the time.
"I don't think [Bracken] going was a tidy thing and I was sad to see him go, but the reality is that he was always going to go at some point," he added.
He said that what he was bringing to his new role as director of CTS was ensuring that technology people are buying IT, rather than the commercial people.
"I think I know tech better than the commercial people - what they need to do is keep me honest about a process for which I'm doing it - not go and do it for me and tell me it's SAP or Oracle that I need," he said.
In June last year, his department built a cross-government IT contract dashboard designed to enable government departments to be more transparent and to make better-informed decisions.
CTS was also helping government units to exit £4.8bn worth of contracts that are due to expire within the next two years, and had been working with the IT industry to "find smart, safe and cost-effective replacements".
The organisation also awarded service providers, including PwC and Methods Digital, contracts worth a total of £25m in a bid to revamp CTS.
It is not yet known where Patterson will be working next, nor the reasons for his departure.
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