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Ex-HMRC CIO takes pay cut after promotion

One of the highest-paid IT experts in government has taken a pay cut despite a promotion.

Steve Lamey has taken a salary drop of at least £10,000 a year since he was promoted from CIO at HM Revenue and Customs to a more senior position. And he no longer claims about £9,000 in taxable benefits which he did when he was CIO.

Steve Lamey was appointed as CIO at HM Revenue and Customs in 2004, responsible for IT in both the former Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise departments. In his first full year as CIO in 2005/6 Lamey earned about £247,500 excluding benefits in kind of about £9,100.

He was promoted in 2007 to HMRC's chief operating officer, and promoted again in 2008 to director general, benefits and credits. He has also become a HMRC commissioner who exercises statutory functions on behalf of the Crown. But his salary has dropped to about £237,500 in 2008/9. And he no longer claims any benefits in kind.

His earnings still remain in the top tier for a senior business executive with an IT background, whether in the private or public sector.

HMRC's permanent secretary for tax, Dave Hartnett, earned £160,000 to £165,000 in 2008/9. Deepak Singh, who took over from Lamey as HMRC's CIO, earned a similar salary to Harnett's.

Top CIO salaries in London in the private sector are about £170,000, according to online recruitment specialist The IT Job Board. In New York, where median CIO salaries are higher than in other parts of the US, median CIO salaries range between $150,000 (£92,000) and $250,000 (£153,000), according to Payscale.

Lamey is well regarded in HMRC and outside. He has responsibilities for Pacesetter, a strategy to increase HMRC's business productivity, change ways of working and reduce backlogs of work. It involves Fujitsu and consultants PA Consulting and McKinsey.

Lamey is also a leading campaigner to make enterprise IT systems more accessible to the disabled.

But he is by no means the highest paid IT expert in the public sector.

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