New government CIO appointed

John Suffolk will lead the work of the CIO Council, moving up from his role as Criminal Justice IT director-general

John Suffolk has been appointed the new government CIO.

He will lead the work of the CIO Council and moves up from his role as Criminal Justice IT (CJIT) director-general.

The announcement was made by Cabinet Officer minister Jim Murphy. In a statement from the Cabinet Office, the government CIO role was described as leading delivery of the government's "strategy for the transformation of public services, enabled by technology".

Suffolk will also be expected to provide leadership to the IT profession across the public sector.

Suffolk will take up his new post from the start of June. The previous government CIO, Ian Watmore, was promoted to lead the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, meaning the vacant post was advertised from the end of January this year.

An advert posted at that time said: "This is an opportunity to participate in and support the most impactful and large-scale change initiatives anywhere in IT today."

The UK's IT industry has welcomed the appointment of Suffolk as government CIO and trade body Intellect said it is an important step forward for the government's IT strategy.

John Higgins, director general at Intellect, said in a statement: "We believe this appointment will ensure that government and suppliers will continue to work closely together to deliver successful IT-enabled business change programmes."

Suffolk's appointment means that the CJIT programme is now looking for two senior IT people after advertising for a new CTO last month.