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September 16, 2016updated 03 Oct 2016 4:04pm

GDS looks for ‘real national presence’ with new digital HQ, takes over DWP Digital Academy

GDS takes over DWP Digital Acadamy and announces new digital HQ.

By Hannah Williams

During his first official visit to the Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer announced that GDS will be moved from its current office in Aviation House to a more “modern and expanded office” in Aldgate, East London.

Speaking to over 500 members of staff at Aviation House, Mr Gummer said that the move to new offices, slated to take place in the summer of 2017, would create a new Digital HQ and digital hub.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office also announced that the DWP Digital Acadamy Service will be moved to GDS to build capacity across government and “give it a real national presence for the very first time.”

The Government’s digital transformation strategy, which was due for change before the EU referendum, will also be updated to match the new and larger remit of the Government Digital Service.

Just one month after director general of Government Digital Service was appointed, three new projects have been announced.

The revamp at GDS follows the suprise appointment of Kevin Cunnington to the director general post at GDS. Replacing Stephen Foreshew-Cain, Mr Cunnington made the move from DWP, where he was previously director general for business transformation.

According to Kevin Cunnington, GDS director general, the update will be completed before the end of the year.

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Talking about the shift in the role of GDS within the government, Cunnington said:

“More and more we are going to make the work from GDS about transformation-not just digital.

“We have a superb team and I want our UK strategy to not only reflect the bold ambition that we have across Government, but the new challenges that now face us. We will have an updated and complete Digital Transformation Strategy before the end of the year.”

It was also announced that Pay’s first transaction has been taken, which makes it ready for business with services that will be available online from autumn. The payment was made on Till Wirth’s credit card, the product manager of the new service, in front of the GDS senior team and Kevin Cunnington.

Mr Gummer said: “These are significant moments, not just for GDS and the Cabinet Office, but for the millions of people who use Government services every day.

“Our message is clear: we are working hard to make life easier for the people of the UK. We want our services to be simple, easy and efficient- I’m here today to reaffirm that commitment.”

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