back to article Hey, Britain! Meet Mr Maxwell, our new National Tech Advisor

The government's chief technology officer, Liam Maxwell, is escaping the Digital Services wing to take up the newly created post of National Technology Advisor. Under the promotion, the former head of IT at private school Eton will provide consultancy on Blighty's digital economy. Maxwell, who is leaving the post earlier than …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Head of computing at Eton ?

    Whoope feckin do, it's not CERN.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Head of computing at Eton ?

      Of course it isn't. At CERN their computers aren't powered by serfs on treadmills.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whoope feckin do, it's not CERN.

    Maybe not, but with clueless old Etonians filling the senior ranks of the Tory, where else would they turn?

  3. J J Carter Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Who says old Etonians are out of touch?

    "A video-tape recorder? Oh, how fascinating!"

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Who says old Etonians are out of touch?

      Computer??!!

      OH! That television thingy the butler does the Household accounts on.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can you tell if someone's an old Etonian?

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    They tell you.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Moar Eton!

    Is it some kind of sect? If it were in Texas it'd probably end in a bloodbath.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-job

    Please, please, please somebody tell me this is a "promotion" to an out of the way non-job where he can be safely ignored by all and sundry and can't do any more pointless and very expensive interfering?

    Just paying him £140k per year to garden will save the taxpayer vast sums compared to how much his interference has cost in the past.

    1. J J Carter Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Non-job

      Yep, a more fiascos will secure a peerage. "Arise Sir Liam of Kanban Board"

  7. edge_e
    Unhappy

    see icon

    see title

  8. Keef

    Must be a good thing, surely.

    As the great and good that run the country so well have mostly been through Eton I can only assume that the staff must be excellent.

    Why wouldn't we want one of them in an influential position?

    What could be wrong with that?

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  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about doing some research, commenters?

    Interesting to see that obviously no-one in the comments thus far has done any research to see what Liam Maxwell has actually done and presumed everything from him being head of IT at Eton.

    I don't even work in government IT but can see the positive influence he has had so far. The givernment IT work putting enterprise IT to shame is the stuff coming from Mr. Maxwell. It's time for people to do some reading...

    Liam Maxwell has had a HUGE influence in how government IT is delivered. He is one of the drivers of using open data within government, allowing departments to share data in common, free and open formats.

    He's championed the creation of registers of government information so again information can be shared between departments and have a verifiable source.

    He has built the Government Digital Service as an IT platform by removing duplication and encouraging departments to share services and be open to providing information to other departments. Why should there be multiple systems for doing the same thing? This all saves huge amounts of money in wasted goverment IT spending.

    However the major thing he's brought to government IT is breaking up the massive impossible to deliver contracts which have historically been won by poorly performing massive outsourcing companies. He has mandated no contracts can be over £100m and plans to go much smaller. Smaller contracts means more accountability and allows smaller providers to bid for part of the work. That smaller bit of work doesn't work or is being badly implemented, the contract for just that portion gets renegotiated or retendered, not the whole thing. He is likely to save the government many millions of pounds by this system which can then be put back into even better digital services for us taxpayers.

    Seriously, this appointment should be cheered as it is putting into political office a true visionary for modern government IT who can shake up some of the other existing civil servants who are living in the IT dark ages.

    1. BearishTendencies

      Re: How about doing some research, commenters?

      Hi Liam,

      Long time no see.

      Love,

      Bearish Tendencies

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about doing some research, commenters?

      > Interesting to see that obviously no-one in the comments thus far has done any research to see what Liam Maxwell has actually done and presumed everything from him being head of IT at Eton.

      Yes "obviously". Equally "obviously" you forget that some of us here actually work in Government IT and have experienced Liam's interference at first hand.

      Since you are such a big fan of Liam, perhaps you can answer one thing on his behalf? If splitting up large IT contracts into much smaller ones is such a good idea, can you explain why a previous Government decided that many small IT contracts was a bad idea and joined them into the mega contracts in the first place?

    3. Tim99 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: How about doing some research, commenters?

      Here is the result of 30 seconds I spent searching at Debrett's: - "conslt Accenture 1991-93, IT mangr Office Angels 1994-97, European technol mangr Adecco 1997-2000, fndr and IT dir Huntress 2000-01, head of IT Capita Resourcing 2001-04, head of computing Eton Coll 2004-11, dir ICT Futures Cabinet Office 2001-12, exec dir IT reform and dep Govt chief info offr Cabinet Office 2012, chief technol offr HM Govt, Govt Digital Service Cabinet Office 2012-; cncllr, cabinet memb for policy Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead 2007-11; fndr Holypart Coll Berks 2014-; visiting prof in electronics and computer science Univ of Southampton 2014- "

      Many of the usual suspects then...

    4. Kay_terra

      Re: How about doing some research, commenters?

      I did work in govt IT before the arrival of, and then under Liam Maxwell, and everything that you are attributing to him was underway before he turned up. If you want to give 'credit' for this litany of 'success' look to Francis Maude who kicked itall off, and then hired Maxwell to be nothing more than a bull-nosed policeman of his processes. I have never worked with or for someone quite so deliberately obtuse, and like many on power, he has very few independent thoughts. His legacy is an increasingly labyrinthine governance process and a load of personal influence (GDS uses GMail and other Google products, Maxwell's wife is an exec in Google) on petty matters while costing departments literally hundreds of millions of pounds through interfering in procurement processes.

      Good riddance to bad rubbish. Have fun in the non-job.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

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