GDS ministerial brief still awaiting sign-off

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 August 2019 in News

Two weeks on from reshuffle and responsibilities remain yet to be officially confirmed

Credit: edar/Pixabay

More than two weeks on from the cabinet reshuffle, the ministerial portfolio containing responsibility for the Government Digital Service, Crown Commercial Service, and other centralised functions is still yet to be officially assigned.

Since January 2018, the work of the two Cabinet Office agencies has been overseen by Oliver Dowden. The Hertsmere MP held the post of minister for implementation until last month’s government reshuffle, when he was promoted to the role of minister for the Cabinet Office, replacing David Lidington.

In his new role at the head of the Cabinet Office, he retains ultimate stewardship of the organisations and programmes that formed his previous portfolio – which, in addition to GDS and CCS, also included a long list of other duties. Since Dowden assumed the role last year, the minister for implementation brief has included: efficiency and controls; cyber and resilience; Single Departmental Plans; the Infrastructure and Projects Authority; Civil Service HR, trade unions, and pensions; government property; shared services; and public appointments.

Related content

As part of the reshuffle last month, the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Simon Hart was given a junior ministerial post as a parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office. He is yet to be officially assigned a portfolio of duties, but PublicTechnology understands that, at some point in the coming days, he is likely to be given a similar brief to that held by Dowden for the past 19 months.

In the meantime, the Cabinet Office indicated that Dowden has oversight of GDS and other functions of the central department. Clarity on any remaining ministerial portfolios will be provided in due course.

PublicTechnology had contacted Hart but was yet to receive a response at time of going to press.

If he is given ministerial responsibility for GDS, he will be the sixth person to hold the brief in the space of little more than three years. The work of the digital agency formerly sat within the portfolio of Cabinet Office ministers Matt Hancock, Ben Gummer, and Damian Green. Since 2017, GDS has formed part of a junior ministerial brief, and has been overseen by, first, Caroline Nokes and then Dowden.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page




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

Related Articles

Government declines to set date for contact-tracing app
8 July 2020

Head of Test and Trace programme Baroness Harding says she does not want to specify a timeframe as projects often do not ‘run in a smooth way’

Gove believes Whitehall reform plans will not suffer because of close association with Cummings
7 July 2020

Cabinet Office minister said that, despite the controversy that often surrounds the PM’s top adviser, ‘people are interested in Dominic and his ideas’

Cyber national security: how the UK has prepared itself for major attacks
6 July 2020

We are approaching the fourth anniversary of the foundation of the NCSC and the threats it was created to respond to loom larger than ever. PublicTechnology examines the growth of the UK’...

Government spends £400m to acquire bankrupt satellite firm
3 July 2020

After being shut out of EU satellite programme in light of Brexit, UK joins consortium with Indian telecoms giant Bharti to buy OneWeb

Related Sponsored Articles

Interview: CyberArk EMEA chief on how government has become a security leader
29 May 2020

PublicTechnology talks to Rich Turner about why organisations need to adopt a ‘risk-based approach’ to security – but first make sure they get the basics right

Accelerating sustainability in the age of disruption
21 May 2020

HPE shows why organisations are increasingly seeking to understand and consider the environmental impacts of their IT purchasing decisions