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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Introducing the government’s Chief Technology Officer Council

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: CTO Council, Open Source, Open Standards, Security, Tools, Transformation

The Technology in Government blog platform often highlights how government is working towards making better use of technology. 

We’re now adding to that aim by introducing the work of the newly formed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Council and the Office of the CTO. Through this blog channel we'll keep you up to date with the Council’s thinking, scope and areas where we would like to engage with you. 

We'll share what we’re up to, the development of our cross-government strategies, the technical challenges we’re facing, and get feedback on potential early solutions with you.

Office of the Chief Technology Officer

I joined the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in August 2021, as the new interim Government CTO. My experience includes working with the government on G-Cloud, leading on cloud strategy and delivering complex integration and transformation projects. I'll lead the Office of the CTO team, initially focusing on these priorities:

  • enterprise architecture and governance, led by Giles Hartwright
  • service transformation, led by Julia Beresford
  • cyber security, led by Martin Bowyer
  • cloud and legacy technology, led by Rhiannon Lawson

Alongside these priorities, the team will continue to produce guidance and standards to help our users implement government strategies that the Office of the CTO develops.

The CTO Council

It's been a while since government has had a CTO Council so we've created a new one to answer today’s technology issues in government.

I'll head up the new CTO Council, whose membership will include CTOs from across government. We'll meet monthly, alternating between in-person and virtual meetings. The Council will develop cross-government strategies and identify and tackle areas/topics for development.

The aims of the CTO Council are to make the most of existing technology resources across the public sector, align organisational and DDaT strategies, and to make the government’s transformation strategy a reality.

The Council will do this by:

  • understanding where there is duplication in government's use of technology 
  • making sure we know where there are already existing opportunities to reuse technology
  • making it easier for organisations to use both formal and informal ways of sharing knowledge, experience, assets and services
  • exploring organisations' common interests in areas of innovation and future tech
  • re-establishing what cross-government DDaT governance should look like and how we can best help our users deliver that governance process
  • identifying areas where we can explore using innovative technology to solve problems in different ways

We'll work across government with CTOs, senior leaders, transformation directors and other subject matter experts. Together we can realise our aims and make sure our technology strategies meet your organisations’ requirements.

What's next

In the next few blog posts from the CTO Council we'll provide more detailed information and aims for each of our priority areas. Our priorities have to be flexible and agile, so we'll keep you updated with any major changes.

We'll also feature guest posts from other CTOs, highlighting the different approaches we’re all taking to completing our work. 

We welcome any feedback on our priorities. If you want to get involved you can email us at

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  1. Comment by Richard A. Steer posted on

    The DVLA says it can no longer verify identity, when renewing driving licences, from passports because modern UK passports do not have digitised signatures. Consequently it is now refusing to allow renewals online for some over 70s when the photo needs updating despite passports containing recent photos. This sits badly with its own PR urging people to renew online.
    If you were really coordinating across departments, as you claim, then you would be getting the DVLA and passport office to sit down in a room together and ' sort it '.
    This kind of obvious dysfunction across government makes one despair of the Civil Service's grasp of technology when it comes to adopting a corporate approach.

  2. Comment by Richard A. Steer posted on

    Further to my earlier comment, even when you submit a signed paper application to renew an over 70s driving licence ( at the specific request of DVLA ) and provide details of a recently issued passport the DVLA cannot use the photo on the passport.
    Consequently it is untrue, as the DVLA claims, that renewing a passport for the over 70s is free because they insist you pay to have a photo taken afresh. They won't even accept a digitised one.
    It is time that consultants with expertise in computers were sent in to DVLA to sort out their outdated technology.