DVSA names Loveday Ryder as its new chief executive

Outgoing BPDTS boss will be succeeded by Rich McHugh at helm of digital services provider
Loveday Ryder

By Jim Dunton

30 Nov 2020

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has appointed Loveday Ryder as its next chief executive. She will replace Gareth Llewellyn from the start of 2021.

Ryder is currently chief of BPDTS, the Department for Work and Pensions’ arm’s-length digital services provider, which is being brought back in-house from July next year.

Ryder has led the organisation – which has a staff of around 1,000 – since 2018, before which she spent 12 years at the Ministry of Justice in a succession of senior roles focused on organisation design, change management and programme delivery.

Department for Transport perm sec Bernadette Kelly said she believed Ryder’s expertise in performance-improvement would be “invaluable” in helping DVSA to “overcome the operational challenges” dealt to the agency by the coronavirus pandemic.

The first lockdown of the year saw widespread cancellation of driving tests for everyone other than critical workers. New restrictions were introduced when testing restarted in July. The current lockdown has seen all driving and riding tests cancelled in England until later this week.

Kelly said she was “delighted” to welcome Ryder to the DVSA, and thanked Llewellyn for his “immense contribution” to the organisation over the past four and a half years.

CSW understands that Llewellyn informed the DVSA board of his intention to leave the organisation in December last year.

BPDTS said Ryder would be replaced as its chief executive officer by Rich McHugh for the final six months before it becomes a full part of DWP. McHugh is currently head of operations at the organisation.

The non-departmental public body was created in 2016 with the sole remit of providing digital and technology services to DWP. The work had been outsourced under various private-sector contracts since the 1990s and BPDTS’s establishment aimed to generate annual savings of £45m compared with the outsourced contracts and provide competitive pay for skilled IT staff – something the civil service struggled to do.

An official “tailored review” of BPDTS’s work, commissioned by DWP and led by Hazel Hobbs, found that BPDTS had been “very successful” in achieving the primary objectives of its business case and had delivered savings that beat original forecasts.

It concluded that as government departments were now better able to “flex their pay and reward offer” to attract staff with the right digital skills, the time was right to create a single digital service within DWP.

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