Government CTO climbs the ladder to cross-cutting role for digital services and technology industry
Liam Maxwell has moved into a new government role as the first national technology adviser, the Cabinet Office has announced.
The move has been presented as a promotion from his role as government chief technology officer (CTO), which he has held for four years, with an emphasis on developing the digital economy alongside the work on public services.
It will extend beyond his existing position in the Cabinet Office, jointly reporting to its minister Matt Hancock and Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Maxwell's deputy, Andy Beale, will step into the government CTO role on an interim basis.
Hancock described Maxwell as a “leading light” in the Government's digital work, and said the new role will be focused on digital transformation, “making the UK the go-to place” for relevant services and products.
Maxwell commented: “We’ve injected a huge amount of talent into the tech leadership of government – the Government is now one of the most exciting places to work in tech. With a strong team, and a great deputy in place, the work of fixing the problem is well under way, and we’ve saved £3.5 billion, money that has gone from admin costs into the delivery of frontline services.
“I’m really excited by this new challenge and the opportunity to further embed the work that is making the UK the number one place to invest in Europe. We have the skills, the infrastructure and the know-how to make our economy the most connected, the most attractive and the most digital in the world. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Maxwell emerged as the key adviser on governmental IT issues for the Conservative Party before the 2010 election, leading the criticisms of big contracts with systems integrators, and played an advisory role for the Cabinet Office before becoming director of ICT futures in 2011.
He has been one of the leading advocates for the Digital Marketplace and increasing the use of open source technology in public sector systems.
Stephen Foreshew-Cain, director general of the Government Digital Service, praised Maxwell's work and outlined further changes in the senior management of the group. In addition to Beale's appointment, he highlighted the role of Iain Patterson in leading the Common Technology Services programme, saying that both will be joining the executive management committee.
Janet Hughes, programme director for Verify, and Olivia Nea, deputy director of standards assurance, will also join the committee.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0