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Bryan Clark to take lead on ESN programme



Former digital director at Prisons Service takes over with immediate effect

A new director has been appointed to head up the beleaguered Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme.

The Home Office announced that Bryan Clark (pictured), formerly director of digital and change at HM Prisons and Probation Service, is taking over immediately from Gordon Shipley, who spent five years as the programme’s director.

His most immediate focus is on the delivery of the Emergency Services Network (ESN), which is set to replace Airwave as the prime mobile communications channel for police, fire and ambulance services.

Before entering the public sector Clarke was the chief executive officer of Sumerian Europe, and previously spent 15 years as partner and European chief information officer of KPMG.

Joanna Davinson, chief digital, data and technology officer for the Home Office, said: “Bryan’s experience will be invaluable in leading the programme as it moves into its vital delivery phase.

“Gordon Shipley played a crucial role in driving the programme forward, from its inception in 2013 to where it is today. We would all like to thank Gordon for his achievements, and we wish him well for the future.”

Important time

Clark added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the programme delivering the Emergency Services Network at such an important time and look forward to working closely with the three emergency services, and colleagues across the Home Office and in other government departments, and in the Scottish and Welsh administrations.”

The programme has been subject to a series of criticisms about its pace of development. In January of last year the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee warned that the target for it to be fully operational by December 2019 was looking unrealistic, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd recently told the committee the department was planning an “incremental approach”, according to The Register.

There has, however, been progress with elements of the programme, notably in contract awards to Vodafone for control room infrastructure and Samsung to provide ESN-compatible smartphones.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0


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