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Watmore leaves government CIO role

Government CIO Ian Watmore is to leave his job on 9 January 2006 to become head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit.

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Government CIO Ian Watmore is to leave his job on 9 January 2006 to become head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit.

The move comes barely two months after Watmore launched his government IT strategy, Transformational Government - Enabled by Technology, with the promise that public sector IT was "on the verge of an era of delivery".

Watmore will retain management responsibility for the e-Government Unit, but the Cabinet Office will now have to appoint a new head of the unit and a new CIO for government.

If the government looks outside Whitehall, as it did with Watmore, the post could remain unfilled for many months.

Watmore will chair his last meeting of the CIO council, which he created, on 4 and 5 January. In an effort to allay fears that the CIO council will falter in his absence, Watmore will ask to remain a member of the organisation.

In his new role Watmore is charged with leading the drive to deliver the prime minister's public service priorities and act as his key advisor on delivery.

Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell said, “Ian Watmore is one of the civil service's most successful recruits from the private sector. I look forward to him bringing his expertise and vigour to the Delivery Unit.”

Watmore has been government CIO and head of e-government since September 2004. Before his appointment to Whitehall he was managing director of Accenture UK from 2000.

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