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UK government appoints first National Technology Adviser

Government announces Liam Maxwell as the first National Technology Adviser.

Building on his previous role as government Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Liam Maxwell’s new role will see him expand the government’s relationships with the digital and technology industry to boost the UK’s digital economy and provide world class public services for citizens.

The role will drive forward the government’s work on emerging technologies and harness leading industry expertise through a new council of experts. This will give the UK access to a global network of expertise which will attract investors and promote export opportunities.

Maxwell will continue his work to promote British interests overseas and enhance the UK’s links with the world’s best digital governments through the D5 group.

To reflect the cross-cutting nature of digital technology, Maxwell will work closely with Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy at Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

His role will link the cross-government drive to improve government digital technology with DCMS’ work to grow the digital sector, support emerging technologies and create the right environment for digital enterprises to flourish.

The appointment is a natural step up for Maxwell who over the past 4 years has transformed the way government buys and uses technology. The introduction of the landmark digital marketplace, which helps the public sector buy IT services from a wide range of suppliers, recently reached £1 billion in sales – the majority of which has gone to small businesses.

Under Maxwell’s leadership, the government has also helped departments to design IT solutions that meet their needs and enable more flexible and efficient working.

Commenting on his new role, Liam Maxwell said:

Four years ago I was asked to come in to government and reshape the technology landscape. To move from silos to common technology, to introduce the concept of common infrastructure and open standards, and to save money.

We’ve injected a huge amount of talent into the tech leadership of government – the government is now one of the most exciting places to work in tech. With a strong team, and a great deputy in place, the work of fixing the problem is well underway. And we’ve saved £3.5 billion, money that has gone from admin costs into the delivery of frontline services.

I’m really excited by this new challenge and the opportunity to further embed the work that is making the UK the number one place to invest in Europe. We have the skills, the infrastructure and the know-how to make our economy the most connected, the most attractive and the most digital in the world. I’m excited to be a part of it.

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Matt Hancock said:

Liam has been a leading light in the digital transformation of government. We will continue to develop and push the digital and technological boundaries across government to give the public access to the very best services.

Liam’s step-up is a reflection of what he has already achieved within the Government Digital Service (GDS), and will ensure we have world class, credible expertise right where we need it. This unique role will provide dedicated support to digital and technological transformation, making the UK the go-to place for accessing and investing in world class digital services and products.

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey said:

With a digital sector contributing an estimated £118.3 billion to the UK economy, the role of National Technology Adviser is vital in harnessing homegrown talent to expand our digital capability. As an ambassador for government, Liam will make sure we’re attracting the right investment and innovation to secure our position as a global leader.

Further information

Following Maxwell’s appointment as National Technology Adviser, the GDSTechnology Group will now be led by the HM Government Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andy Beale as Acting CTO, pending the role being competed.

Alongside Andy, former Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency CTO Iain Patterson will also continue his work leading the government’s Common Technology Services Programme. Both Andy and Iain will report into GDSChief Executive Stephen Foreshew-Cain.

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