Rob Thompson, formerly head of engineering at the Department for Work and Pensions, has joined the Home Office as chief technology officer.
Thompson announced the move in a blog post, where he said that his new role will see him “provide the strategic direction for engineering, technology and architecture across the Home Office”. This, he added, “will mean two things”.
“Doing some architectural work, making sure new systems are well designed and current systems are optimised,” Thompson said. “[And] making sure we deliver our systems and services in a modern, value-creating way that leverages our intellectual and financial capital to create better public services.”
Prior to joining the Home Office earlier this month, Thompson spent four years at the DWP, where he headed up a team of 700 engineers and also ran the department’s Universal Credit technology team. He said that his new employer shares “many of the same challenges” that he faced in his previous position.
These include “improving services by making them more digital, making data core to all our activities, building and running well-architected systems, saving the taxpayer money, [and] doing it all at scale, safely and securely,” he said.
Before joining government in 2014, Thompson spent 23 years working in the private sector. But he “fell in love with the civil service at DWP” and is now “completely converted me to a life of public service”.
The new CTO will spend the coming weeks travelling around the UK learning more about the Home Office and the demands of his new job.
“I’ll be working with different types and sizes of projects and programmes to see where I can help,” he said. “I’ll also spend time with my colleagues on the senior management team to further understand our challenges.”
Thompson added: “I’ve been encouraged by the spirit and positive outlook of our teams during my first sessions in London, Croydon and Sheffield. There’s a lot of work to do and some major challenges. But I think we’re all ready for it.”