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August 2, 2016

Kevin Cunnington appointed head of Government Digital Services

News: Cunnington replaces Steve Foreshew-Cain, who stepped down from his position after just nine months.

By CBR Staff Writer

Kevin Cunnington has been appointed head of the Government Digital Services (GDS).

Cunnington, who replaces Steve Foreshew-Cain, will make the move from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where he was director general for business transformation.

Foreshew-Cain, who held his role for just nine months, said he has been fortunate to work with some of the most talented people inside government over the last few years.

Praising his team, he said: "Collectively they are the best shot we have to transform government for the internet era. And we all need them to do that."

Cunnington, who brings with him private sector experience with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, said: “I am delighted to be joining the Government Digital Service, working across government to continue to improve digital services and increase value for money for taxpayers.”

Naureen Khan, who heads techUK’s Public Policy Programme, said “A strong digital centre at the heart of Government has been critical to delivering ground breaking progress over the past five years. The Government Digital Service with a clear remit will remain fundamental to achieving the next phase of full scale transformation.

“It is now more important than ever for Government to invest in the transformation of our public services. Any slowdown could lead to a detrimental impact on companies investing in UK public sector. The most urgent priority is for Government to set out how it plans to deliver on its Digital Government ambition through articulating its overarching strategy for delivering the ‘Smarter State’ and the role of the tech industry to help deliver its vision.

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“It has been a pleasure to work with Stephen and he has done a great job continuing to improve the engagement between Government and industry, paving the way for genuine two-way collaboration. I look forward to working with Kevin who brings a wealth of knowledge from the private sector as well as a strong understanding of delivery challenges through his time at DWP.”

News of Cunnington's appointment follows the HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) confirmation of the departure of Mark Dearnley as chief digital and information officer (CIDO).

Dearnley, who joined HMRC in October 2013, will leave HMRC next month once his existing contract ends. He has decided to return to the private sector to take on a new challenge.

HMRC director of digital transformation Mike Potter will lead the CDIO Group in the interim. The department will launch an open competition for a new CIDO shortly.

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