Government CIO Andy Nelson tipped for DWP CIO

Government chief information officer Andy Nelson has been tipped as the next CIO at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Government CIO Andy Nelson has been tipped to become the next CIO at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Whitehall sources have told Computer Weekly that Andy Nelson will take the role, after previous DWP CIO Philip Langsdale passed away over Christmas.

According to insiders, Nelson will no longer be government CIO, the part-time role he currently holds with that of CIO at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Nelson’s deputy Nick Ramsay is expected to fill the MoJ CIO role in the interim.

Computer Weekly understands that, following Nelson's departure from the Cabinet Office, the role of government CIO will no longer exist.

Nelson will be tasked with sorting out the major IT issues facing the department’s flagship Universal Credit project, if he takes the role – a job many will see as a poisoned chalice.

According to recent reports, the IT underpinning the DWP’s Universal Credit project has hit major problems, with a number of key figures having left the programme, including project chief Malcolm Whitehouse. One of the project’s main IT suppliers also failed to deliver on the programme’s targets, sources told Computer Weekly.

A spokeswoman from the DWP said the department hasn’t yet confirmed anyone in the post of DWP CIO. However, the DWP's advert for the CIO position has been taken down.

The news follows a leadership shake-up in government IT leadership last month, which saw a reduction in Andy Nelson’s responsibilities as government CIO.

Liam Maxwell, former deputy government CIO, was appointed Whitehall's first chief technology officer and now reports to Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service.

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