Andy Nelson named Government CIO

Jennifer Scott News
24 Jan, 2012

The former head of IT at the Ministry of Justice takes over responsibility of the Government’s ICT strategy.

The Cabinet Office announced this week Andy Nelson would become chief information officer (CIO) for the UK Government when his predecessor steps down in March.

The former head of IT at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will replace Joe Harley, who has only been CIO since February last year. Harley is also the CIO for the Department of Work and Pension (DWP), which is now advertising for someone to fill the role.

Nelson will continue to be the MoJ’s CIO, however, and has gained the public support of Ian Watmore, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office.

“It is fantastic to be able to assign the role of government CIO to someone who has held major CIO roles in private sector and has been involved in the ICT strategy since the very beginning,” he said.

“Andy has worked closely with Joe over the past months and will continue to do so – ensuring that we continue to deliver ICT services fit for a modern civil service.”

Chris Chant, head of the G-Cloud project for the Government, also tweeted his endorsement for Nelson, adding: “Andy Nelson- absolutely the right man for the job.”

Current CIO Harley first announced he was retiring from the Civil Service back in November and follows a number of high profile exits by the founding fathers of the Government ICT strategy.

Deputy CIO Bill McCluggage will leave Whitehall this week to take a position at EMC, whilst last year the deputy head of the G-Virtual Cloudsject, Andy Tait, took a role at virtualisation specialist VMware.

John Suffolk, Harley’s own precursor, made a similar move to McCluggage and Tait, decamping to the private sector to become head of cyber security for mobile firm Huawei in 2011. However, he faced tough questions from MI6 and the Cabinet Office to ensure he didn’t reveal any secrets from Whitehall to the high profile Chinese company.

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