John Suffolk - my job's done so time to leave

On his blog John Suffolk, Government CIO, gives more detail on his decision to leave. He says that reviews of the future of projects have been completed, a moratorium on all new ICT spend above £1m without specific Treasury approval is...

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On his blog John Suffolk, Government CIO, gives more detail on his decision to leave

He says that reviews of the future of projects have been completed, a moratorium on all new ICT spend above £1m without specific Treasury approval is holding firm, renegotiations of contracts with suppliers are well advanced, and a new strategy embedded. "So time for me to leave", says Suffolk.

He adds:

"The Government has announced the most demanding public sector spending review in a generation. In that review the ICT Strategy that we have been working towards and delivering over the last seven years is baked in, in some shape or other: the rationalisation of infrastructures to create a "cloud" model; the continued sharing of assets and systems; the continued drive to benchmark and drive operational excellence; putting more systems online - but based around horizontal citizen and business needs; focussing more on SMEs; reducing the scale of projects; fixing our procurement processes and finally putting technology at the heart of the next transformation. 

"I am a great believer in renewal and as new teams enter a business, or as in our case, Government, it is important that they themselves can bring in new ideas, new policies and processes, and crucially new people. 

"Having achieved what I set out to achieve it is time for me to get out of the way and allow fresh thinking and impetus to drive forward the strategy. I know I leave our work in strong capable hands supported by a strong capable ICT supplier community."

Suffolk leaves behind a Cabinet Office whose officials have mixed views on the need for radical reform. 

Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary said Suffolk had made his intentions clear in March that he wished to consider his position once he had fully supported the new Coalition Government in their first six months of office. 

"John deserves the thanks and best wishes of everyone in the Civil Service for driving the transformation of technology in Government. His work with the CIO Council and technology professionals across Government has ensured that we are well placed to cope with the challenges that we will face," said O'Donnell.

Suffolk said: 

'It has been a great honour to have been a civil servant and a huge privilege to have led the IT profession over the last five years. Without doubt we have transformed the UK into a leading user of technology benefiting Citizens and the UK economy.
 
'I am immensely proud of the way we have supported the new Coalition Government in its first six months and have greatly enjoyed working with Francis Maude and his team. I know that with his drive and passion for delivery the very good work we have started will continue and be a great success." 

Maude co-chairs the board which oversees the Efficiency and Reform Group. He said: 

"'I'd like to thank John for his enormous contribution to the technology transformation agenda, and the civil service as a whole over many years. 'His experience in both the public and private sector has helped to make the transition to the coalition government a smooth one. The Cabinet Office will certainly not be the same without him and I wish him well for the future."

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John Suffolk to leave as Government CIO - a blow to G-Cloud, innovation and radical reform?