Government Digital Service Head Mike Bracken Quits

Mike Bracken, the head of the Government Digital Service (GDS), is to leave his post on 30 September after four years.

Previously the director of digital development at The Guardian, Bracken oversaw a major overhaul of the government’s online resources with the launch of Gov.UK in 2012. The Cabinet Office says the restructure and digital by default initiatives save the taxpayer £60 million a year.

No reason has been given for his departure, but Bracken was full of praise for his team in a blog post.

GDS departure

“I’ll say right here and now that the team at GDS is the best digital delivery group in the world,” he said. “It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with them all, whether they are here now or spent just a short period with us in the last 5 years. They are dedicated, determined, talented and funny. I will miss them more than I can possibly explain. Government doesn’t know how lucky it is.”

Bracken said he was confident about the future of GDS and that many of the reforms he helped to introduce would make government function better and improve the lives of citizens.

“I’m leaving government’s digital delivery in capable hands – especially with the support we are getting for the future of digital transformation from the new Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock,” he continued. “The GDS leadership is strong, our plans are clear and focused, our people – and digital teams across government – are rolling up their sleeves to continue the work of transformation.

The Cabinet Office praised Bracken, claiming that under his leadership the UK had become a “world leader” in digital government, with the US and Australia among those emulating the GDS model.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Mike, and I am sure many will join me in thanking him for all he has done to make things better for users of government services around the UK,” added John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service. “Mike has played a central part in developing a functional model at the heart of government, and digital has paved the way for joining up the centre and departments until a single vision. I wish him the best for the next phase of his career.”

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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