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DWP sticks with Simon McKinnon as digital chief


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that its acting chief digital and information officer Simon McKinnon is to stay in the role at least until May 2020.

It is sticking with the current arrangement with the option of considering the next move before the end of the period.

McKinnon moved into the position last December when the previous digital chief Mayank Prakesh moved on after four years in the role. He had previously headed the digital delivery of Children, Health and Pensions Services.

He said: “I’m very pleased to be continuing in the role of acting chief digital and information officer, leading the transformation of DWP’s digital services.

I’ve been in this role since December 2018 and there’s never been a more exciting time to be part of DWP Digital. We’ve just won two top prizes at the National Technology Awards for two of our flagship services, including Find a Job and Intelligent Automation Garage.

“Find a Job exemplifies how innovation and technology can help drive public services, and the Intelligent Automation Garage is exploring how we can use artificial intelligence in exciting ways.

“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”.


McKinnon has previously indicated that the priorities for DWP Digital include building on the trend, established under Prakesh, to move away from a reliance on third party suppliers and setting up communities of practice within the department.

He pointed to its work on trust and assuring digital identities, talking about intelligent real time decision making, the context of requests for authentication and a holistic understanding of digital personas.

He also emphasised the importance of doing more with AI and taking further advantage of the data held by the DWP.

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

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