The Department for Work and Pensions’ chief digital and information officer, Mayank Prakash, will step down at Christmas for a role outside the civil service.
Prakash will return to the private sector after four years at DWP. Before joining the department in 2014 he was managing director for the investment bank Morgan Stanley’s global wealth and investment management technology division, having been chief information officer at a number of tech and digital communications companies.
He took sole charge of the department’s digital reforms in 2016, when its former director general of business transformation Kevin Cunnington moved to the Government Digital Service.
Prakash was named CIO of the year in the 2016 UK IT Industry Awards, and the most influential person in UK IT the following year in Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 ranking.
However, his time at the department was not always smooth. In the same year DWP was forced to deny an overspend amid reports that several of its more than 500 digital, IT and technology projects had been placed under review.
And in March 2016, Prakash said he struggled with his department’s “highly hierarchical structure”. “Before I can talk to a person they tell me what grade they are – and I struggle with it,” he said at the Public Sector ICT Summit, organised by Civil Service World’s parent company Dods.
A spokesperson for the department said Prakash “has personally driven an ambitious agenda for improving the technology that supports citizens, significantly overhauling our systems, and embedding agile design and development that has been and will continue to be critical to our services in DWP”.
Prakash said it had been a “privilege to lead the digitisation of DWP".
“Working with brilliant civil servants who care about giving back to society has been a memorable and enjoyable learning experience. I am proud of the many achievements of colleagues and grateful to industry leaders for their partnership to transform the UK’s largest IT estate beyond recognition,” he said.