Whitehall will make better use of IT staff, says new government CIO

Ian Watmore, the new head of the Cabinet Office's e-government unit, wants to make better use of talented IT professionals inside...

Ian Watmore, the new head of the Cabinet Office's e-government unit, wants to make better use of talented IT professionals inside and outside the public sector.

"We have some hugely talented people in government and we have also lost a lot because of the outsourcing agenda in the 1990s," said Watmore.

"We have got a mixture of people on both sides of the fence who really know what they are doing, but we do not bring them together. There is no holistic career framework for them to follow, we do not get the training, we do not swap ideas and we do not bring together in a common and consistent way the business and IT managers."

In his first interview since starting the job two weeks ago, Watmore said one of his tasks was to be the "so-called head of the profession for IT" across government, which involves "trying to improve the training, skills development and the sharing of knowledge and experiences in both the business and the IT people involved in these projects". He will put in place a training and career development programme for IT professionals.

Watmore said he wants business managers to feel it is of as much value to them as to IT staff to learn lessons from major projects. In this he also aims to involve suppliers "so we are all singing from the same hymn sheet and not sitting there fighting each other - that is the core agenda".

Watmore also plans to appoint a senior figure to spread best practice across government. "I am trying to drive up the capability and capacity of people in government and the wider marketplace to do these things and do them well," he said.

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