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DWP joins up digital, data, security and IT

After the departure of its business transformation director, Kevin Cunnington, the Department for Work and Pensions is reorganising its digital design and IT teams

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is joining up its digital design, data, security and enterprise IT to make the department more efficient.  

In a blog post, the DWP’s director general of digital, Mayank Prakash, said the department was combining “design thinking and digital technology with our social purpose to create exciting and innovative products and services”.  

He added: “DWP Digital will build secure and reliable products with amazing user experiences that meet the needs of our customers.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, not least because of the huge scale of our work and the amount of data we are responsible for. We are working on innovative ways to protect that data and unlock new experiences using the latest technology, for example how we could make phone calls with our customers faster and more secure.” 

Prakash, who is leading DWP Digital, said the goal was to design and deliver integrated services to improve outcomes, make the department more efficient and “re-imagine customer experiences”. 

The latest shake-up follows the departure of the DWP’s former director general for business transformation, Kevin Cunnington, who has become director general of the Government Digital Service (GDS). 

Cunnington has taken several former DWP colleagues with him to help assess the GDS, but the DWP involvement in GDS appears to be on a short-term advisory basis, not full-time appointments.  

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Earlier this week, Computer Weekly reported that the DWP was recruiting a chief data officer to drive intelligent use of data and lead the department’s plans to design and deliver a data platform. 

The role, which commands a salary of around £130,000, will involve leading agile teams of “500 data scientists, data architects, data analysts, statisticians, data developers and engineers”.  

The DWP recently began trialling the use of blockchain technology to enable benefits claimants to use a mobile app to track their welfare payments. ........................................................................

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