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I'm delighted that you're considering the role of Chief Digital Officer in Defra Group's Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) team. This is a really exciting time to be a leader in the Civil Service, and especially within Defra's digital team. We provide digital services used by millions of people, as well as IT services to a department of over 30,000 staff. We have over £300m to invest in technology over the next 18 months, and an ambitious digital transformation strategy driving future investment after that.

The role will drive the delivery of a digital and data strategy in a massively diverse organisation – with environment, nature and biodiversity at its heart. We have made tremendous progress in developing new and improved services, including services required since the exit from the EU, but we have significant opportunity to further improve our services for internal and external users.

This isn't just about technology – the role will work across the Department and ALBs to develop a more product and service centric approach to delivery. It is a digital role with a particular focus on business transformation, fundamentally changing the way we do business and deliver outcomes essential to the department's ambitious and inspiring 25-year Environment Plan. That means significant change to Defra's core capabilities and future operating model that you will work with our senior leaders to deliver.

You will shape Defra's approach to prioritising a £300m plus investment portfolio, as well as developing our strategic business case for continuing this investment in future years - including driving the discussion of how Defra can exploit innovative technologies such as automation and Artificial Intelligence.

The role requires you to build great partnerships with Defra's operational teams across our Arm's Length Bodies, giving you unique exposure to a range of expert stakeholders who are keen and ready to engage on digital transformation, and thereby develop your expertise in building productive and trustful relationships with executive stakeholders.

Fundamentally, you'll bring a vision for effective delivery of digital and data solutions to improve effectiveness and productivity. You'll be seen as an inspiring, inclusive and visionary leader within and across Government. You'll have direct line management for more than 40 staff – but influence the future structures of a team of over 1,000 staff in DDTS and current investment of over £200m a year. You'll be a key leader in my leadership team as part of my Executive Board, providing strategic direction for our operating model going forwards.

This information pack sets out the role and responsibilities of the post. It also sets out the process of selection and what you can expect once you have applied. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.

Chris Howes, Chief Digital and Information Officer

Chris Howes
Chief Digital and Information Officer