DCMS leader Sue Owen on EU exit, data ethics – and Jordan Pickford

Written by PublicTechnology staff on 27 December 2018 in News
News

Outgoing departmental boss reflects on a busy year

Credit: Louise Haywood-Schiefer

The annual perm secs round-up published by PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World sees Whitehall's senior leaders open up on their biggest challenges and opportunities - as well as their thoughts on how best to mark the festive season. Here Dame Sue Owen (pictured above), who is coming to end of her tenure as permanent secretary of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, reflects on the last 12 months.


What was your highlight of 2018? 
Big events like the Great Exhibition of the North, the Hockey Women’s World Cup, and the programme of moving World War One centenary commemorations are some of our popular highlights. And in only our second year since adding “Digital” to our name, we’ve announced the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, stimulated millions of pounds of investment in the rollout of fibre optic cable, and passed tough new laws against online ticket touts.

What was the hardest part of being a leader in 2018? 
In DCMS all four of our Commons ministers posts changed hands, twice for secretary of state! But we’re good at leading through that kind of change in DCMS. For me, the hardest thing in 2018 was losing Jeremy Heywood, with whom I worked on and off for over 30 years.

What are the main challenges facing your department in the coming year?
Every department faces challenges associated with EU exit, and with our sectors making up 25% of UK businesses, DCMS is no exception. This ranges from obvious issues such as continuing to grow our tourism sector, to more subtle ones such as ensuring the free flow of data between European and British businesses. We’ll also be meeting the challenge of legislating against some of the more insidious online harms, such as cyberbullying and abuse.

Which celebrity or historical figure would you choose to turn on the Christmas lights in your town, and why? 
Jordan Pickford, Everton and England goalie – because my dad’s ashes are under the pitch at Goodison Park.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

EXCL: Digital chief on why HMRC must 'embrace AI and machine learning'
20 May 2019

CDIO Jacky Wright tells PublicTechnology that department wants to focus on developing its use of artificial intelligence tools

Government can ill afford not to invest in police technology
27 March 2019

Calum Steele of the Scottish Police Federation explains why investment and legislative changes are sorely needed to help support officers’ use of technology

Related Sponsored Articles

Mastering the multi-cloud
21 May 2019

In this infographic guide, BT's cloud experts provide the invaluable insight you need to overcome the challenges of the cloud and reap the rewards on offer

The age of the multi-cloud is here
7 May 2019

BT explores how to manage the risks and rewards of the cloud in their infographic guide, offering advice for ensuring that the challenges don't hold you back 

Balance the risk and reward of the cloud
30 April 2019

A global cloud infrastructure offers many potential benefits, but also many challenges, and every organisation’s hybrid cloud strategy is unique. BT presents practical advice on getting the most...