GDS chief Cunnington moves to new body 'promoting UK government services to the world'

Written by Beckie Smith on 18 June 2019 in News

International Government Service role a "fantastic opportunity to build on our achievements at GDS", Cunnington says

Photo: GDS

Kevin Cunnington will leave the Government Digital Service to head up a new body tasked with promoting the work of UK government services internationally.

Cunnington, who has been director general at GDS since 2016, will be the inaugural director general of the International Government Service, the Cabinet Office has announced.

In his new role, Cunnington will be responsible for “promoting the work of UK government services, including the digital sector, across the world”, the Cabinet Office and GDS said in a joint statement this afternoon.

Related content

In the sparse announcement, Cunnington, who also leads the government's digital, data and technology function, said he saw his new role at the previously-unannounced body as a “fantastic opportunity to build on our achievements at GDS”.

“I’m looking forward to promoting the work of the UK government and exploring how the UK can provide government-to-government services, including digital, on a global stage,” he said.

Announcing the appointment, civil service chief executive John Manzoni said Cunnington was “well-qualified” to lead the IGS.

“Under his leadership, GDS has matured into an established function, responsible for accelerating digital transformation right across government and the wider public sector,” Manzoni said.

“The civil service now has more technical capability than ever before, while the UK is consistently ranked among the world’s most digitally enabled governments.”

Under Cunnington’s tenure, GDS oversaw scrutiny of government technology spending, which the Cabinet Office said had helped “realise more than £1bn of benefits”.

Before joining GDS, Cunnington was director general of the Business Transformation Group at the Department for Work and Pensions, after a career in the private sector – most recently as global head of online for Vodafone Group.

He has also overseen the introduction of machine-learning and speech-recognition technologies to government services, and a major boost in traffic to the GOV.UK website.

Alison Pritchard, GDS’s director for EU exit and transformation, will take act as interim director general while the agency recruits Cunnington’s successor.

About the author

Beckie Smith is a reporter for PublicTechnology's sister site Civil Service World, where this story first appeared. She tweets as @Beckie__Smith

Share this page




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

Related Articles

Government and MPs ask for public support in fight against coronavirus fake news
30 March 2020

Select committee and ministers ask for citizens to be on the lookout for false information spread online

Can the Government Transformation Strategy be judged a success?
27 March 2020

The Government Transformation Strategy set out an array of ambitions for a three-year timeframe that has now reached its end. A range of expert commentators discuss whether its aims have been...

Technology in the time of coronavirus
19 March 2020

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall on the immense importance of government digital and data professionals, at a time when a lot of things suddenly seem less important than...