The society for IT professionals in the public sector has appointed Glyn Evans as its new boss
Evans is currently corporate director of business change at Birmingham City Council, but at Socitm’s annual general meeting and spring conference, he was confirmed in the new role as head of the the public sector ICT association, taking over from former president, Jos Creese.
The move is not totally unexpected, as Evans was previously Socitm’s vice president.
Evans has been a member of Socitm for over 20 years, and has over 30 years experience of working in local government in various IT support and management positions. He joined Birmingham City Council way back in November 2003 with the remit to drive forward a business transformation programme across the Council. This programme has subsequently grown to be the largest IT-enabled change programme in UK local government.
And prior to achieving the top job at Socitm, Evans was also the Chair of the policy group, Socitm Futures and of its forerunner, the Socitm Information Age Government Group. In those roles he lobbied government on policy and implementation issues.
“It is one of the greatest honours for anybody to become President of their professional body,” said Evans. “I am greatly looking forward to my year of office, representing Socitm on the national and international stage.
“More importantly I will be doing all I can to help Socitm’s members continue their role in supporting the delivery of high quality public services at a time of unprecedented financial challenge in the public sector,” he added.
Evans’ appointment comes at a time when Socitm has launched an ambitious strategy that calls for a much more integrated local public service delivery, across all local public services.
The strategy dubbed with the catchy moniker of “Planting the Flag: a Strategy for ICT-Enabled Local Public Services Reform,” puts forward a vision of “unprecedented levels of collaboration between local authorities, emergency services, health, education and civil society organisations, leading to radical re-design of local public service delivery”.
The strategy rejects Whitehall’s efforts for a “one size fits all” approach to public service delivery, but instead forsees the local public services will be delivered based on local needs.
Evans feels that this strategy will be an important theme of his Presidency, alongside three other key areas:
- Increasing Socitm Membership
- Helping Public Sector ICT Professionals Manage Austerity
- Ensuring the IT Professional Plays A Key Role In Redefining and Delivering Public Services.
“IT across local public services is radically improving efficiency and effectiveness. Most importantly, public services can change people’s lives for the better, and increasingly, IT plays a key part in that,” said Evans.
“After a lot of hard work, not least by Socitm, I think we are at or past the tipping point where organisations realise that IT is the enabler for delivery of their objectives,” he added.
Socitm has been vocal in its advice to both local and national government. Last week, for example, Socitm warned that outsourcing government ICT services can be “fraught with risk”.
However that study did not take an overall negative view of outsourcing, and pointed out that outsourcing can protect smaller departments from changes in technology. It also said that smaller organisations can benefit because of the economies of scale it can bring.
But Socitm is also not afraid to hand out criticism when it feels it is warranted.
In March it hit out at Chancellor George Osborne, saying that he missed several opportunities in his budget to boost the economy and reduce carbon emissions by offering investment and incentives to local authorities.
Meanwhile, at the same AGM, Socitm also elected a new vice president. Nadira Hussain from Tower Hamlets joined the existing vice presidents Kay Brown, head of ICT at South Lanarkshire Council, and Steve Halliday, head of ICT at Solihull MBC.