'Compelling' communicator sought to lead government digital and data strategy

Cabinet Office unit seeks strategy and projects leader – in a role first advertised as a 10-year assignment
Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pixabay

By Sam Trendall

11 Jan 2023

A senior technology executive is being sought to “lead and own" the government's digital and data strategy.

The Cabinet Office-based Central Digital and Data Office is advertising a vacant position as deputy director of digital strategy and projects. 

The job advert was published last month, and the application window is nearing closure, with the deadline for submissions passing tonight at 11.55pm. 

Until the evening of 9 January, candidates were advised that they were applying for a role with “a minimum assignment duration of 10 years… [this] is an important expectation, which is why we ask you to confirm you agree to the assignment duration”.

In response to queries from CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, the Cabinet Office indicated that the 10-year stipulation had somehow been included in error – instead of the three-year period that is often assigned to senior civil service roles.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said:  "The job advertisement for the deputy director, digital strategy and standards role wrongly stated the assignment duration was for a minimum of ten years. This key role does in fact have an assignment minimum duration of three years and the job advertisement has since been corrected."

It is not known how such an error occurred, nor any impact it might have had on applications. The advert has now amended.

However long it takes, the delivery of the incumbent government-wide tech and data strategy – dubbed Transforming for a Digital Future – forms the backbone of the role’s duties. The successful candidate will oversee “development, launch, subsequent iteration, refreshes and implementation tracking” of the digital plan, which was published last summer. 

This will include work related to “CDDO and cross-government alignment to the strategic priorities [the plan] sets out”.

The deputy director, who will earn a salary of up to £80,000 a year, will “manage an end-to-end programme of work that aims to bolster HMG’s standing as a digital government, including working with IPA (the Infrastructure and Projects Authority) on cross-government delivery methodologies that better enable agile delivery and working with HMT to modernise funding and other business processes”, according to the job advert.

“You will collaborate closely with other functional partners such as security and policy, identifying opportunities for jointly addressing cross-government and cross-functional problems… [and] build trusted relationships with senior digital, data and technology leaders across departments, as well as senior officials in CDDO, the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury,” it added.

“You will work regularly and closely with ministers, articulating complex digital challenges clearly and compellingly, [and will] drive the DDaT functional agenda, including management and strategic oversight of the products, processes, tools and governance forums that enable the DDaT function to deliver against its strategy.”

The postholder will sit at the head of a team comprised of DDaT professionals from various different functions. The role will be based at CDDO offices in Bristol or Manchester.

Sam Trendall is editor of CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, where this story first appeared.

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