The Cabinet Office has launched a recruitment campaign to find a Government Chief Security Officer, whose duties will include being the senior responsible officer (SRO) charged with the delivery of the delayed Foxhound programme
The role, which has been described as “probably the biggest and most important security job in the UK today” will be expected to “protect Government’s people and information from threats including terrorism, cybercrime and hostile states.”
The Foxhound programme is being implemented across central government to provide a shared service at the Government Security Classification “SECRET” for Office Automation and collaboration tools.
Foxhound was originally designed to deliver a single, secret network across government by April 2014. It aimed to provide improved security and functionality, while offering considerable cost savings by replacing many older systems. As a more secure system offering mobile and remote access, Foxhound was designed to replace 15 separate confidential networks and other classified systems. But against its original aspirations, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report in September 2016, the system is three years late and not on track to deliver the £308m of anticipated benefits over 10 years.
The aspirations were re-set in 2014, when the Cabinet Office, in a business case, revised the scope and schedule of the project and projected savings of £398m over 10 years when set against an industry comparator. There is now a central budget of £50m to develop Foxhound, which was approved as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
The GCSO will be head of the security function for the Civil Service and be accountable for evolving and implementing the security strategy and delivery for the Civil Service, driving forward the Transforming Government Security Programme – a major change programme for government security- and future reforms.
The role, which carries a £150k salary, will also be responsible for building national security relationships with key global partners and allies in government and industry.
Civil Service chief executive – and Cabinet Office permanent secretary – John Manzoni, said, “The Government Chief Security Officer is probably the biggest and most important security job in the UK today.”
Manzoni added, “The Government Chief Security Officer is a crucial role in this context and will be the functional leader responsible for driving the capability to protect Government’s people, information and assets from a wide range of threats.”
“The role will be responsible for advising Ministers and the leadership of the civil service on how we can best protect our people, information and services as well as meeting the needs of the digital transformation and new ways of working.”, Manzoni said.
Manzoni added, “The next two to three years will see a major change programme to develop a security strategy for a contemporary, smarter Civil Service and build the capability and identity of a Government Security Profession.”
Successful candidates will need to demonstrate experience of operating and leading a converged information and physical security strategy and operation as well as a successful track record of defining policy, procedures and leading large-scale operations, including complex security platforms serving all end to end needs of the organisation.
In addition to Manzoni, the panel will also consist Natalie Campbell – Civil Service commissioner – and two other panel members who will be confirmed in due course.
Applications close on June 4 with panel interview scheduled to start on late June/early July.