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Wales to appoint digital chief for local government


The Welsh Government has pledged £500,000 per year for a new unit to support digital initiatives in local government.

It said the money will be available for the employment of a chief digital officer for local government and to support a delivery unit.

Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James revealed the move in a statement, saying it was confirmed recently to the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).

She said the unit will provide for a dedicated resource to identify, share, promote and champion a joined up approach to digital initiatives and their delivery across local government. 

The chief digital officer will take on a leadership role in the sector and support Wales’ local government in building its capability in new uses of technology and data.

Sector led

James said: “I see this firmly as a sector led and owned approach which the Welsh Government is happy to be able to provide funding in support of. 

“The chief digital officer will be hosted by the Welsh Local Government Association and overseen by their Digital Advisory Group made up of WLGA Members, Solace, Socitm, other professionals and stakeholders.”

The funding will be for an initial period of three years to allow time for the officer to be appointed, identify priorities and have time to make meaningful progress on them.

James added: “Securing an individual with the right skills, qualities, background and experience for the post is crucial and work is underway on the recruitment process. My expectation is that this process will be undertaken at pace to ensure that the CDO is in post by the start of the next financial year.

“Alongside this I will be making over £1 million available in the next financial year to support the digital transformation of local government in Wales, with a focus on encouraging and enabling collaboration.”

Image by Llywelyn2000, CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons

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