Big changes are afoot at the Government Digital Service with the arrival of Kevin Cunnington from DWP in place of Stephen Foreshew-Cain.
First off, I’d like to make a personal tribute to Steve who I had the good fortune to work with at GDS. I know from conversations with him that he passionately believes leadership is about nurturing and developing people. His stance on diversity, in particular his refusal to speak on all-male conference panels is just the kind of leadership the tech industry needs. We are sad to see him go.
Kevin Cunnington is moving into a role where he will face immediate questions over the role of GDS in government. We at dxw wish him all the best and look forward to hearing from him in the coming weeks.
Naturally, people are nervous. Kevin is now the keeper of the flame at GDS and it’s his role to champion user needs before government needs. As the UK has achieved the number one ranking in the UN E-Government survey, it’s vitally important that we don’t slip back into the bad old ways.
The things that helped us achieve this ranking must be protected and built upon. We must continue to develop the Digital by Default Service Standard as an objective set of standards that all good digital services should aspire to. The system of spend controls must also stay in place so we can avoid the rampant duplication of old.