Management > CIO

Tom Read appointed MoJ chief digital and information officer

Neil Merrett Published 16 September 2016

Current BEIS digital technology director and chief technology officer will be replacing Arif Harbott in leading ministry’s IT initiatives


Tom Read has been unveiled as the new chief digital and information officer at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), replacing Arif Harbott, who has served in the role since last year.

In a post on Twitter, Read, who is presently the digital technology director and chief technology officer for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), announced he would be moving across Whitehall to take over Harbott’s position.

No dates have yet been given for when he is expected to start in the role, or the potential impact, if at all on existing digital strategy for the department. Richard Heaton, permanent secretary at the MoJ, also took to social media to praise Harbott’s contribution to the department’s current technology capabilities.

In a blog post last month, Harbott set out nine guiding principles for its staff to improve the technology being used in their work.

"You can learn a lot by looking at the computers, laptops and mobile devices used by your staff at work and at play. Employees often have super-fast Wi-Fi and the latest devices at home, but have to put up with creaking PCs and snail-paced connections in the office,” he said at the time.

"We want to provide technology that's at least as good as what they have at home, so they can work in modern, flexible and collaborative ways."

Recent months have seen a number of civil service changes at Whitehall’s big departments relating to technology and digital roles.

This includes the departure of Norm Driskell from the Home Office following the creation of a new Home Office Digital, Data and Technology (HO DDaT) team, led by Sarah Wilkinson. In August, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) chief digital and information officer (CIDO) Mark Dearnley revealed he would be leaving the department once his existing contract expires in September.

Meanwhile, over at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Kevin Cunnington’s departure to the Government Digital Service (GDS) has meant Mayank Prakash taking on some of his digital responsibilities. His position is now chief digital and information officer. He was appointed the DWP’s director general for technology two years ago.

Related articles:

MoJ promises users "technology as good as they have at home"

HMRC chief digital officer Mark Dearnley to step down

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