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Job of the Week: Chief Data Officer, HMG

Role up your sleeves, gird your loins, dust off those "outstanding influencing, negotiating and conflict resolution skills"

british government chief data officer cddo cabinet office

In brief: Government Chief Data Officer role sits in Cabinet Office/CDDO. Pays up to £160,000. Will be a challenge. Applications close on August 7.

The Stack’s Job of the Week is back!

This week we have our eyes on a compelling if not uncomplicated role at the heart of His Majesty’s Government for which recruitment is still open.

The Cabinet Office (that’s the UK’s corporate headquarters for government, for our friends across the pond) is looking for a Chief Data Officer (CDO).

The Government CDO will sit within the new(ish) Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) – run by Megan Lee Devlin – and pick up from CDO Nigel Matthews, who held the role to August 2022 for a year on a contract basis.

CDDO continues to build out its team and faces an ongoing uphill effort to coordinate cross-departmental work and ensure joined-up thinking on government data, without treading on sensitive toes parked on sensitive turf. (The job description recognises that the right candidate will have “outstanding influencing…negotiating and conflict resolution skills.”)

As the National Audit Office noted in 2022, “The structure of government is heavily siloed and departments have a high degree of autonomy. Legacy systems make it difficult to introduce standards into this environment and government has struggled to make substantial progress over the past 20 or so years…” – two significant ongoing efforts to modernise and standardise a scattered mess of disparate ERP systems may also make this easier, for those with the real patience to wait until those programmes deliver.

See also: Government's Big Beasts join forces in £1 billion ERP "Synergy Programme"

The new CDDO CDO will work closely with CIOs across government departments and “lead on implementing the government’s mission to improve the use of its own data as part of the National Data Strategy and Transforming for a Digital Future Roadmap” a job advertisement notes.

They will report to the “Government Chief Digital Officer, based in CDDO.”

The Cabinet Offices gives a healthily wide salary band of £95K/y - £160K/y; the latter attractive enough to appeal to private sector candidates with an appetite for a meaningful and potentially satisfying challenge.

Challenge, is, of course, the operative word.

As captured in the job specifications: “You will have overall responsibility for coordinating delivery of interventions to improve the government's exploitation of data assets to improve public services and policy development and evaluation. This includes initiatives to improve data quality and standards, ensuring departmental compliance with data standards whilst also removing barriers to using and reusing data more effectively across the public sector.”

Applications close on August 7. Get yours in today.

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