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Former MoJ digital chief and No 10 adviser go to GDS



Arif Harbott joins on short term contract as Emily Ackroyd becomes director of policy and engagement

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has taken on two new senior officials with the appointments of Arif Harbott and Emily Ackroyd.

Harbott (pictured), who until recently was chief digital and information officer at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), is joining on a short term contract to advise on digital, data and technology, taking over from Susana Berlevy who is moving to a role at Lloyds of London.

Ackroyd, who was previously senior policy adviser for welfare, employment and pensions at the Prime Minister’s Office, becomes director of policy and engagement at GDS.

Announcing the moves in a blogpost, head of GDS Kevin Cunnington said that Harbott will work on capability building, while Ackroyd will be responsible for strengthening the organisation’s role in policy and engaging with other parts of Whitehall.

“As we start to work more with departments to deliver transformation, we need to bridge the gap between policy and delivery,” Cunnington said.

He added that Ackroyd will begin the job full time next week, and from the new year share it with another person, for whom GDS is advertising.

While in his MoJ role, Arbott emphasised the importance of ministry staff being able to use IT in the workplace that is as good as that they use at home.

His focus on data suggests that he could, at least temporarily, fill the role to be vacated by data director Paul Maltby next month.

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

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