Jeremy Quin has been named as the new minister in the Cabinet Office responsible for digital government issues.
He has been given the minister for implementation role, which includes oversight of the Government Digital Service (GDS), in the reorganisation of ministerial portfolios following last week’s general election.
Simon Hart, who had been in the role only since August, has been moved to the role of secretary of state for Wales.
Quin will have responsibility for GDS along with several other issues and organisations with differing levels of relevance to the digital agenda. The most direct are cyber resilience and the Geospatial Commission, although there is also a relation between digital and Civil Service HR and shared services, the Government Security Group, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, the Government Commercial Function and controls of digital, commercial and property.
MP for Horsham since 2015, he was previously in the Government whip’s office.
His biographical information conveys no sign of any heavy involvement in digital issues, with a career in Natwest Securities and a stint as senior corporate finance adviser to HM Treasury in 2008-09.
He comes into the role at a time when there is some uncertainty over the future of GDS. While it is still highly active in the providing guidance on the granular details of digital service delivery, its director general, Alison Pritchard, is in the role in an interim capacity with no indication so far of when a permanent appointment will be made.
It is also working in a landscape in which the lead role for one of the major elements of its work, on government use of data, has been shifted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Image by UK Government, CC BY 3.0