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Pavitt's HMRC reforms gain industry praise

David Bicknell Published 23 November 2012

Public sector plaudits follow HMRC director's decision on new Aviva role


Public sector IT leaders have hailed HMRC change director Phil Pavitt's 'digital legacy' following the announcement of his departure in January to join insurance group Aviva.

Pavitt will become Aviva's global director of IT transformation with a remit of leading the execution of the organisation's IT strategy where his role will include rationalising and simplifying IT services, and modernising and digitising the whole of the insurer's business.

Government Digital Service executive director Mike Bracken said, "In many regards Phil's greatest legacy is the ambition level within HMRC to transform its services to become digital by default. It's always a challenge to lose someone of his calibre from the government IT landscape but with the recent publication of the Government Digital Strategy we remain on course to achieve our ambitions to make our digital services so good people prefer to use them. Departments have committed to deliver their own Departmental Digital Strategies by December 2012 and despite Phil's departure HMRC are on course to meet that deadline. I would like to wish Phil every success in his new role in Aviva and know he will be missed by his colleagues in central government".

Liam Maxwell, deputy government CIO, praised Pavitt's contribution in working with the IT Reform Group and highlighted the future role of Mark Hall as HMRC's CIO. Hall has been working in the role since September.

"It is no surprise that someone was going to see the opportunity to hire Phil's expertise. He is a really talented guy and we've been privileged to have him working with us. I wish him all the best for his new role at Aviva."

Maxwell said he had had some recent experience in working with Hall, and had been impressed by his contribution to the IT reform discussion. "Mark is a quiet guy, but is a deep thinker. He will weigh up the arguments and in a balanced way, give a cogent argument about why we should or shouldn't do something."

Government CIO Andy Nelson said: "Phil has been an enthusiastic and successful champion of our IT reforms. As well as increasing effectiveness and driving down the cost of IT in his own department, as a member of the CIO Delivery Board he has played an instrumental role in the changes we are implementing across government to create the modern, flexible and cost-effective IT that will deliver the services the public deserve. I will personally miss his energy and support and wish him well on his return to the private sector."

Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: "Phil Pavitt has had considerable personal impact during his time as CIO of HMRC. This is an organisation that deals with some considerable scale, the numbers of which dwarf many financial institutions, whilst at the same time innovating and embracing initiatives such as digital by default. HMRC has adoption rates that reflect Phil's drive to put the citizen at the heart of these transactions. Phil is a change agent and it will be interesting to follow his next challenge."

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