GDS at 10: ‘The purpose that underpins our work is exactly the same’

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 December 2021 in News

Chief executive seeks potential new recruits to join ahead of ‘next chapter’

Credit: GDS/CC BY 2.0

As it celebrates its 10th birthday, the Government Digital Service’s mission statement remains “exactly the same”, according to chief executive Tom Read.

On 8 December 2011, a blog post published by GDS’s founding director general Mike Bracken declared: “We are open for business.”

In the decade since, the organisation has been at the centre – literally and figuratively – of government transformation, leading the creation of scores of online platforms and services, and supporting a vast variety of digital, data and technology initiatives.

The organisation and the environment it operates in have changed a great deal during its lifespan, But, in its latest blog – the publication of which have always been a regular feature of GDS’s work – the incumbent boss said that its fundamental objectives and ethos remain constant.

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“You might think, given we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary, we’re going to tell you how much things have changed. In fact, we want to do the opposite because the purpose that underpins all of our work – a relentless focus on user needs – is exactly the same,” he wrote. “The job of making it easier for people to interact with government is something that will never be finished. We need to keep finding and building the things that will make it easy for people to get what they need from government, and then get on with their lives.”

As it enters its second decade – and as the paperwork for its, as yet unpublicised, three-year funding settlement from the spending review makes its way through HM Treasury’s processes – Read said that GDS can continue to deliver on its mission “thanks to secure funding, a clear strategy and mature, talented teams”.

These teams are set to expand in the coming months as the organisation grows its presence in locations in Bristol and Manchester that will serve as regional “hubs”. 

Linking out to the organisation’s online careers site, Read said that GDS will “soon be advertising exciting new career opportunities across the UK” and issued an open invitation for potential new recruits to support the work of the organisation’s during its second decade.

He said: “If… you're inspired by the idea of making it quicker and easier for every citizen to get what they need from government – why not join us for our next chapter?"


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on


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