Cabinet Office seeks £90k advisors to help exit complex IT contracts

The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), which sits within the Cabinet Office, is seeking three advisors to support the government’s technology reform programme and help departments exit complex IT contracts.

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The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), which sits within the Cabinet Office, is seeking three advisors to support the government’s technology reform programme and help departments exit complex IT contracts.

According to a job notice, the £93,225-a-year posts will be working with government CTO Liam Maxwell to set the strategy for Whitehall technology, challenging departments on their spend control processes and supporting them on an advisory basis.

It states that government technology is at a “tipping point”, where over half of the major IT contracts in Whitehall will elapse over the next two years, providing the “ideal opportunity to improve the way government uses and procures technology”.

The government has undertaken an aggressive reform agenda over the past two years in a bid to squeeze out the traditional public sector suppliers, which have been perceived to be overcharging on contracts and failing to deliver robust systems.

These reforms have included an attempt to introduce more small and medium-sized businesses to working with government, in a bid to introduce agility and innovation. New frameworks have been created to make this possible – most notably the G-Cloud and Digital Services frameworks.

CTO Maxwell has also publicly stated that when the large outsourcing agreements come to an end over the next two years, some of the deals won’t be handed back to the same suppliers and more SMEs will be used.

The OCTO and the new advisors, according to the job notice, will work to help departments exit complex, inclusive IT contracts and move onto “modern technology at reasonable cost”.

They will also work to help departments “get back their technological sovereignty, autonomy and expertise”.

The advisors will work with the OCTO full-time and the closing date for applications is the 25 November.

Despite having delivered some £840 million worth of savings with strategic suppliers between 2012-2013, the National Audit Office this week also warned the Cabinet Office over its heavy-handed reforms, claiming that if the public sector is to stay innovative it needs to find more effective ways of working with the private sector.

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