Liam Maxwell Becomes UK Government Chief Technology Officer

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

First UK government CTO has to herd IT leaders in all departments

Liam Maxwell, who emerged from local government as an open source guru, has been made the UK government’s chief technology officer (CTO) with a brief to co-ordinate technology strategies across government departments.

Maxwell has been promoted from the role of deputy government chief information officer (CIO) and will now report to Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service (GDS). GDS is intended to be a centre of excellence for government projects, and Maxwell’s brief is to support “digital leaders” created by the GDS who are pushing digital public services within all government departments.

Liam Maxwell government CTO

Making government data open

Until 2011, Maxwell was a councillor in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, where he promoted the idea of using open source and online services to make government services more efficient.

In June 2011, he got the job of technology advisor within the Cabinet Office. He was put in charge of “ICT futures”, and since then has become more central to government IT, as the role of online services in efficiency savings has become more clear.

The flagship project of the Government Digital Service is GOV.UKintended as a unified and streamlined portal for government services, sweeping away the confusion of overlapping services on different domains and making it easier for citizens to access public services.

Maxwell’s job is to “support the network of departmental Digital Leaders created by the Government Digital Service in identifying the technologies required to drive the creation of new digitally delivered public services,” the Cabinet Office said, in a statement.

The  IT Reform group will become part of GDS and Liam Maxwell will report to GDS executive director Mike Bracken, who is leading the government’s digital transformation agenda.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Liam Maxwell as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for HM Government,” said government chief operating officer Stephen Kelly. “Each department already has its own CTO or someone approximating to that role. Working together, Liam, government CIO Andy Nelson, the CTOs and Digital Leaders will form a powerful combination to achieve the transition to Digital by Default.”

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