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back to article Gov IT slasher gets top civil service role

The man tasked with slimming government IT spending – yet who tried to inject MacBooks into Whitehall – will step up to a more powerful role after civil service grandee Sir Gus O’Donnell retires in December. Ian Watmore, chief operating officer of the Efficiency and Reform Group, which claimed to have saved Whitehall £3bn over …

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No more GOD then...

Anyone who can squeeze suppliers and bring even an inkling of sense to the gordian knot that is government procurement is a good man.

Not sure how that skillset would fit to all the other varied roles the CS is meant to be performing though. (Namely: firefighter, cheerleader and ministerial babysitter)

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He'll get good advisors

Watmore has worked with a good team before. No doubt he'll start re-assembing that, and he is not adverse to throwing the odd curved ball to wake people up. Let's see what he does.

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Watmore, as the first central UK government Chief Information Officer, was responsible for the catastrophic waste of billions on the NHS IT system (among numerous other project disasters) - much of said billions ending up in the back pockets of his former consulting colleagues. Can someone explain, for the benefit of those of us not 'in the loop', exactly what one has to do to be dismissed* from the Civil Service?

* Dismissal as in 'don't come Monday' - not early retirement on enhanced terms, a substantial cash payout, numerous directorships from those you've 'helped out' over the years, and a seat in the Lords.

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Actually..

.. that's why Watmore left in the end. The consulting infestation in Whitehall was out of control - it took a change of government to get a grip on that culture. FYI, it wasn't Accenture who made a mess of IT, and who made a fortune during the Labour years..

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Anonymous Coward

So

So the ex-CEO of Accenture is responsible for overseeing the governments relationship with Accenture (and Accenture's rivals). Interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

It's who you know, as always...

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Dear

"CEO of Accenture"

Expect slashing of spend with Crapita and HP/EDS and hoardes of new blue suited graduates from the ex-firm... of course, not engages by Mr Whitmore but by some other underling in a completely fair and transparent manner...

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Anonymous Coward

he was only UK MD..

Never the CEO..and has been gone along time...

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"who tried to inject MacBooks into Whitehall"

Oh thank Christ. We were worried we weren't going to get our iPad 2s for a second there.

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FAIL

Negotiation

I think not. Rumours I heard sounded like he encouraged them to hand over cash as one off savings in order to protect future business opportunities.

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Anonymous Coward

Beggars Belief!

I assume Joe Harley will get another leg-up following this as well.

Two of the most unsuitable people in the Civil Service, both have presided of catastophic failure and waste on their watch.

However their ability for "new-speak" when the government changed was admirable, blaming all that came before whilst removing their grubby prints and DNA off the cadaver.

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The perfect man for the job, just look at his CV

OK, so he couldn't hack it at the Football Association. But compared with that, imposing his will on Whitehall will just be a walk in the park, won't it?

Efficiency? Reform? It's all there, http://www.dmossesq.com/2011/10/you-just-cant-keep-good-man-down.html

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Anonymous Coward

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin told him[Watmore]: "You come from exactly the large corporate culture which has bedevilled IT procurement in government. Are you part of the cultural change the minister is looking for, or aren't you just part of the problem?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12905303

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris Miller

The thing I find interesting is that one former Met Commissioner is ensconced in the house of Lords, and others aren't.

It is my opinion that the controversial admission that the one in the House of Lords was taping his calls with the PM, and the Attorney General, completely coincidental.

Out of interest. Does anyone else have the cursor location go invisible when typing here, or is it just IE8 or 9?

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Facepalm

Cursor in white

Nope. Works well on IE6...

Yrs truly

A Miniscule Part of the Civil Service

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