The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has appointed former Sage and Avaya CIO Mayank Prakash in a brand new role that is set to replace the CIO job title at the department.
Prakash will be the director general for technology at the DWP, and will take over the responsibilities of CIO Andy Nelson, who stepped down after just one year in the post. Nelson will remain in the position until Prakash begins his role officially in November.
Prakash will be responsible for IT services at DWP and ensure that its technology supports current and new digital services.
According to the government, he has led large-scale transformation for a range of different businesses. This included digital initiatives to implement online services, mobile apps and big data analytics integrated with social platforms.
Prakash moves to the post after three years working as head of global wealth and investment management technology at Morgan Stanley.
DWP's permanent secretary, Robert Devereux, welcomed the appointment, stating that Prakash had a wealth of experience in leading technology and business transformation, and adding that "his expertise will prove invaluable to the department".
The incoming director general for technology said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to simplify welfare by transforming one of the UK's largest IT estates to deliver easy-to-use digital services. It is a professional privilege to improve how the government delivers services to 22 million citizens."
The full reasons for Nelson's resignation are still unclear. However, he arrived at the department as the DWP's problematic Universal Credit system was just getting off the ground. The programme has been plagued with issues and will have done little to persuade him to stay. Neither would the government's gradual diminution of the role of the CIO across its many departments.
In November, a former DWP employee gave Computing a frank insight into the problems with IT at the department, claiming that the first consideration for employees was to worry about whether the tabloid press would approve of their actions, and that Universal Credit is one of many DWP failures on the horizon.
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