Fear not for the future of digital government - the GIFs are taken care of

I was tempted to write this blog post on Computer Weekly’s Downtime blog, where we try to look at the lighter side of the world of IT. But I’m not entirely sure this is a joke.

While budgetary constraints affect the progress of digital government services across the public sector, Whitehall struggles to fill digital vacancies, and skilled IT contractors leave because of IR35 reforms, money is clearly an issue.

But don’t worry this Christmas about priorities, because the Cabinet Office has the critical role covered.

That’s because, if you’re an animator who happens to have national security clearance, this is the job for you:

“We need an animator to create social media animations and GIFs to use on government social media channels and for paid digital advertising,” says the latest Cabinet Office job vacancy. Interested candidates have until 1st January 2018 to apply.

The animator will be needed to “create a series of animations for government social media accounts”.

The ideal applicant should have security clearance, but if you’re an experienced GIF animator who fancies the job but hasn’t spent a lot of time working for GCHQ, MI5 or MI6, don’t worry, the advert says that as an alternative: “We will need the appointee to sign an additional non-disclosure agreement as well as the standard contract, as some of the material is potentially sensitive”.

Potentially sensitive animations? Just think, you could be the person to produce the ultimate GIF on Britain’s secret Brexit negotiation strategy, to stuff it – through the medium of Twitter – to those EU bureaucrats stopping us having our cake and eating it (actually, there’s your first GIF image idea, feel free to use, no credit needed).

There must be animated gags-a-plenty about our new £3.1bn aircraft carrier springing a leak.

Or you could be preparing an entertaining GIF of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, going up in a mushroom cloud with a laughing Donald Trump in the background to express the British government’s response to World War 3.

Bear in mind that the job requires an animator able to “work at pace” – so we can all look forward to a veritable flood of guffaw-inducing GIFs in 2018 to explain the government’s policies to us (someone needs to, let’s face it).

Sadly, the excitement won’t last – this is only a six-month contract. But at up to £250 per day – or £32,500 for the contract duration – our government GIF strategy should be in good hands. What taxpayer would begrudge the cost?

Happy Christmas everyone, if you can afford it.

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