Home Office IT director Denise McDonagh is to take over the government's G-Cloud programme once the current incumbent Chris Chant retires at the end of this month.
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McDonagh will combine the two roles from 30 April, ready for the next release of the CloudStore online cloud services catalogue launched by Chant in February.
Chant has been a vocal reformer among government IT chiefs, repeatedly calling for major changes to the way the public sector purchases and manages technology. In a valedictory blog post earlier this week, he accused some government CIOs and IT suppliers of "hiding behind a comfort blanket" to avoid change.
McDonagh is seen as another of the reformers in Whitehall IT and is likely to pursue a similar drive as her predecessor. In an interview with Computer Weekly last year, she said: “We’ve got to the point where things have to change. We can’t continue to deliver IT in the way we do. I have many examples of frustrated customers, as they can’t get IT quickly enough and at a price they can afford.”
McDonagh has worked in government IT for 31 years, beginning her career at one of the most junior levels to eventually take one of the top Whitehall IT roles. During the last 10 years she has been focused on dealing with big suppliers - one of her key roles was director of outsourcing at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, before moving to the Home Office.
McDonagh implemented an "extend and blend programme" in 2009 for the Home Office, which broke up supplier duplication on a number of systems management contracts within the department, including desktops, hosting, and networks. That activity rationalised and improved hosting capabilities and took out more than £100m in costs over the life of the contracts.
The experience positioned the department to become one of the government’s Foundation Delivery Partners for its G-Cloud strategy