DWP looks to hire new CDIO

Department is on the hunt for a chief digital and information officer to lead on its digital agenda, offering up to £200,000 pa for the role

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is recruiting for a director general chief digital and information officer (CDIO).

The role, which comes with a salary of up to £200,000, carries responsibility for managing an annual budget of £1.4bn to drive forward the department’s digital ambitions.

The CDIO will report directly to DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield, who said in the job application pack: “Whoever takes this role needs to have the capability to lead at this scale, and the ability to work collaboratively across my executive team providing digital solutions and capability to continue to improve service delivery in DWP.

“The complexity and scale in which we work is unprecedented. In our digital function, we transact £170bn a year, we manage 50 million lines of code and we have one of Europe’s largest IT estates operating across 850 buildings and 90,000 desktops.”

The hunt for a new CDIO comes as current digital boss Simon McKinnon is due to leave the department later this year, Computer Weekly understands.

McKinnon has been a vital part of the department’s digital transformation puzzle. He has led DWP Digital since January 2019, overseeing the huge project to move away from being a largely outsourced department, gradually moving services and products in-house.

In an interview with Computer Weekly last year, McKinnon said the DWP had moved from being largely a supplier management function to become a “fairly modern IT function”.

In May 2022, McKinnon launched the department’s three-year Digital Future strategy, aiming to reimagine digital services and make them more personal, accurate and efficient.

The five pillars of the strategy include providing reliable, secure, cost-effective services by enabling what DWP Digital described as “24/7 delivery of high-performing, sustainable, accessible digital services” for colleagues and customers.

Read more about DWP Digital

According to the job advert, the new CDIO must have “proven leadership of the full suite of a technology and digital function, with a track record in setting a clear vision and role modelling an inclusive, collaborative culture which focuses on building current and future capability, and where high performing teams thrive”, as well as a track record of building and managing complex senior stakeholder relationships.

The CDIO will be responsible for 10 direct reports and role model leadership for about 4,500 colleagues in the DWP Digital Group.

Last week, DWP Digital appointed two new digital directors as part of its plan to strengthen its digital offering. This includes DWP Digital’s director of shared platforms, Craig Eblett, taking on a new role as chief technology officer (CTO).

“I’m really thrilled to take up the role of CTO,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring together the digital strategy and architecture activities.”

DWP Digital has also appointed Jake Barlow, former director of Gov.uk at the Government Digital Service, as its new director of health and disability & benefit supporting services.

Computer Weekly has approached the DWP for comment on McKinnon’s departure.

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