The latest government CIO gossip

It has been an interesting few weeks for the IT management scene in the UK. First we heard that government CIO John Suffolk decided to step down, followed by British Airways CIO Paul Coby, Aurora Fashions IT chief John Bovill and, more recently, the CTO at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) James Gardner, who also decided to move on to greener pastures.

As if we didn’t have enough to talk and write about, this week press rumours started to mount around the possibility of DWP’s top IT man Joe Harley becoming the next government CIO, in addition to his present role.

Computer Weekly contacted both the DWP and the Cabinet Office to check the accuracy of such rumours, only to hear that the supposed move was pure speculation.

However, recent experiences show us that government departments – and its IT executives – are very good at saying no when the truth is yes, particularly when it comes to staff announcements. Private sector organisations, interestingly, appear to be much more forthcoming in that respect despite call for more government transparency.

The fact is, it has been already a few weeks since John Suffolk left the post of government CIO. There is a great deal of decisions to be made and work to be done by whoever is chosen to fill Suffolk’s shoes, and that role needs to be filled fast.

Now would it be possible lead the government’s IT strategy and, on top of that, handle the UK’s largest IT departmental user? If that’s the case, then Harley will have some serious multitasking to do.