Public Services > Central Government

GDS not expected to replace former CTO Andy Beale

Neil Merrett Published 25 January 2017

As interim chief technology officer leaves Whitehall role this month, it is understood that the Cabinet Office will not seek to recruit a replacement


The Government Digital Service (GDS) is not expected to seek a replacement for the chief technology officer role held by Andy Beale until last week, it is understood.

Beale, who initially assumed the CTO role on an interim basis last year in order to oversee work bringing together separate GDS teams working on policy and standards, architecture, service assurance and strategic change, has stood down from the position after providing several months notice.

However, Government Computing understands that with GDS still yet to unveil its delayed strategy for the scope and shape of future operations, there is no intention to recruit a replacement CTO.

Having officially left the Civil Service last week, Beale said he expected GDS would continue to try and break down department silos and introduce more integrated data and digital functions in line with the aims of his former team.

In a post announcing his Whitehall departure after four years working in the Civil Service, Beale highlighted the importance of ongoing work to encourage collaboration beyond organisational borders in government, or departmental silos as they are known.

“Looking ahead it is great to see the changes taking place at GDS that will reinforce the commitment to collaboration and breaking down of silos, including internal silos, with the move to integrate more activity across the previously distinct digital, data and technology areas,” he said.

Beale added that a core part of his work had been looking to break down barriers in line with the Cabinet Office technology refresh strategy launched in 2013, adding that the government was beset with constraints that restrict technology potential.

“We knew that if we got the Cabinet Office transformation right, organisations across government would want the same tech. And the idea of a common IT design and delivery service took shape under the project name of ‘Beagle’,” he argued.

“It would adopt the user-centric approach used in the Cabinet Office Transformation Team. The project became Common Technology Services (CTS). Today CTS is going from strength to strength and is now working right across government.”

Beale argued that the work he was most proud of during his time in the role was a result of collaboration the CTS team has undertaken with security and commercial colleagues, as well as working closely with GDS.

“Our jointly published guidance on End User Device security in 2013 has continued to be iterated and still forms the basis for recently launched national advice from the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC),” he said.

Beale also praised CTS' collaboration with commercial organisations on the Technology Code of Practice that sets out preferred methods for how departments design, buy and build technology and online services for the public.

Related articles:

GDS strategy release expected to face Christmas delay

Andy Beale to leave GDS by New Year

Whitehall seeks feedback over revised Technology Code of Practice

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