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Ian Watmore appointed Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit

15 December 2005
CAB 071/05

Following the Prime Minister's announcement today, Sir Gus O'Donnell, Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service, welcomed the appointment of Ian Watmore as Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit effective from January 9th 2006.

In this role Ian Watmore will lead the drive to deliver the Prime Minister's top public service priorities and act as his key advisor on delivery. Additionally, he will be at the forefront of the Cabinet Secretary's mission to improve the delivery capability of the Civil Service as well as retaining overall management responsibility for the office of the Chief Information Officer.

Ian Watmore will be accountable to the Prime Minister and report to Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary.

Sir Gus O'Donnell said:

”This is excellent news. Ian Watmore is one the civil service's most successful recruits from the private sector. I look forward to him bringing his expertise and vigour to the Delivery Unit. Ian's work on the Transformational Government strategy demonstrated his personal commitment to improving public services and a capability to deliver within the Whitehall environment. He is ideally placed to deliver the capability reviews of departments announced in October.”

Ian Watmore said:

”I am honoured to be appointed in this role and wish to build on the outstanding achievements of the team led by my predecessor, Sir Michael Barber, and continue to help implement the business transformation of Government itself.”

Notes to editors

  1. Mr Watmore, 47, has been Government Chief Information Officer and Head of eGovernment since September 2004. Prior to that he was Managing Director of Accenture UK from 2000. Mr Watmore will continue to report directly to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell. He will also continue to have managerial responsibility for the eGovernment Unit and will oversee the appointment of his successor as Chief Information Officer, who will report to him.
  2. The Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) was established in 2001 with a remit to strengthen the Government's ability to deliver the Prime Minister's key public service priorities. The PMDU works closely in partnership with Number 10, other parts of the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and other stakeholder Departments in order to assess delivery and provide advice and guidance on ways to achieve step–change improvements in performance. Ian Watmore's role covers the focus on the Prime Minister's key delivery priorities, and the implementation of the Transformational Government strategy. The Delivery Unit has also recently taken on the task of developing and, in due course, delivering reviews of Departments' capabilities, as announced by Sir Gus in his appearance before the Public Administration Select Committee in October.
  3. As well as these arrangements at the centre, the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, with the agreement of the Prime Minister has recently announced some changes to the governance arrangements for the civil service. A more transparent, more flexible set of arrangements will operate in future. The Civil Service Management Board will be replaced with a Permanent Secretaries Management Group on which all first Permanent Secretaries will be represented. It will be supported by a small Steering Group which will meet more frequently. The groups, both chaired by Sir Gus O'Donnell, will focus on a wide range of issues of relevance across the Civil Service. More details are available on the Cabinet Office website.
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