DWP acting chief digital officer McKinnon to stay in role until May 2020

Seven months after launching recruitment campaign, department reveals interim digital chief will continue in role


By Richard Johnstone

13 Jun 2019

Simon McKinnon, the acting chief digital and information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, will continue in his role until May 2020.

McKinnon has held the digital top job since the departure at the end of 2018 of former CDIO Mayank Prakash. Shortly before Prakash departed to take a role at British Gas parent company Centrica, the DWP opened applications for his replacement. The job, which was advertised for about a month from mid-December onwards, came with an expected salary of £180,000.

It is not clear whether this recruitment process failed to turn up any suitable candidates, or whether the department simply chose to extend McKinnon’s tenure as a preferable option. Nor is it known whether the role will be re-advertised in, or shortly before, May 2020.


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Civil service World's sister title PublicTechnology had contacted DWP requesting clarification on these points and was awaiting response at time of publication.

The announcement that McKinnon is to stay on was made yesterday by DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield.

The acting CDIO said that he is “very pleased to be continuing in the role”.  He flagged up DWP’s recent success at the National Technology Awards – when prizes were given to its Find a Job service and its Intelligent Automation Garage initiative – as an indication of the department’s progress.

“I’ve been in this role since December 2018 and there’s never been a more exciting time to be part of DWP Digital,” McKinnon said. “We’re well on the way to becoming an outstanding digital organisation. Our transformation is driven by innovative, curious and enthusiastic teams and I’m delighted that I’m able to continue to lead this work.”

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