Parliament is recruiting to fill a digital director role offering a salary of £110,000 a year. The successful applicant will become the first head of the recently launched Parliamentary Digital Service, set up to merge the current Parliament ICT department and the Web and Intranet Service team.
The service was recommended in a review of the IT that supports the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The review said the separation of the web and IT teams is “outdated in principle” and has “broken down in practice”.
“The breakdown is most clearly apparent in the failure of parliamentary authorities to agree on a future strategy for Parliament’s website.”
The director of ICT in parliament, Joan Miller, is due to retire from her role in September 2014.
The job advert for the digital director post said: “Parliament has made significant progress in recent years in developing online services and digital ways of working. However, we recognise that user needs for digital services are changing fast.
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"We need to do much more to ensure that digital delivery is at the forefront of our work, across both Houses, and that the needs of our various user groups are always prioritised.”
The advert described some of the unique challenges the recruit will face: “The new director must have the energy, enthusiasm and resilience necessary to lead change in a complex organisation where ambiguity is a fact of life and differing strategic priorities may be difficult to reconcile.
"However, in helping Parliament put digital first, you will transform not just our parliamentary institutions but our democratic system.”
Last year, the House of Commons speaker, John Bercow, set up a commission on digital democracy to investigate the use of modern technology in parliament. The commission is looking into areas such as online voting, e-dialogue between parliament and constituents and addressing the digital divide in Britain. The commission is due to report its findings in 2015.