back to article Cabinet Office on £2m digital talent hunt

The government department charged with running the Civil Service is looking for developers to transform the public sector – and they're prepared to pay £2m to get the best. Whitehall's digital tsar Mike Bracken just announced 28 new digital jobs at the Cabinet Office (with pay packets ranging from £59k-£117k a year), declaring …


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  1. JakeyC

    New Security Roles...

    ...are notable by their absence.

  2. Elmer Phud

    Oh dear

    "Bracken said that he is looking for "world-class digital talent" and that he believes that the hiring decisions will pay for themselves: "An example: in 2009/10 government services excluding PCTs received at least 693 million telephone calls, at an average cost call of over £6 each, and over 150m of these calls were self-reported as avoidable. If we can move a fraction of these to compelling, digital transactional services with very high completion rates, the savings are quite clear.""

    Erm,no they are not clear. A fraction of a less than a quarter of the calls - how much is the 'fraction'?

    The answer, it seems, is to spend more money.

    If all the jobs were at the lowest rate and they need 28 of them the money is not going to last very long. Chuck in a few at the top rate and the money has run out before any office space or tech is paid for.

    How about getting rid of 'experts' like MLF?

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "he believes that the hiring decisions will pay for themselves"

    How is that even possible in taxfeed/moneyprint universe?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, it IS possible.

      I recall a department's email service being upgraded from X400 to smtp. The provider (who shall remain nameless) was *RAKING* it in by charging for every conversion, but (a) failing any message above 2MB and delivering sometimes a whole week later (which suggests it was an old PC somewhere in an office that got repeatedly unplugged by the cleaning lady).

      That investment (AFAIK 6 digits) paid itself back in two months..

      The whole architecture change in 1995 has resulted in substantial cost savings too, and structures were drawn up to save even more - but then New Labour arrived and it all went to hell because it brought in consultants whose sole purpose was to milk the coffers as fat as they could manage (if you need any evidence, just look at the ID Card scam, sorry, scheme).

      Now that club has finally departed we may be able to get back to business - there is a LOT to clean up as a consequence..

  4. Jon Press

    Interesting focus on open source...

    Look past the usual key/leader/deliver/influence drivel in the job descriptions and there's a very clear focus on open source and cloud-based solutions (linux/python/ruby....) and on adopting a rather different development model to traditional government IT projects. It's a distincly non-Civil-Service approach and it will be interesting to see whether Sir Humphrey gets behind it or will be found underneath removing the wheels.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Peanuts for Monkeys

    Christ .... they just haven't a clue, have they, about the significance of what the medium can do, in the control of those who know what the medium can do. The title says it all, perfectly.

    And have you any idea about what it tells everyone who knows what the medium can really do virtually, about the state of national security intelligence and the low level of cyber intelligence in the corridors of power and government in the UK, for they are two quite separate departments.

    Who claims responsibility for the hiring of top CyberIntelAIgent Security Practitioners? Who interviews Virtual Field AIgents and has authority to pay them the tens and hundreds of millions they are worth whenever they reveal what needs to be known to counter that which they reveal is known by those leading in such as are IT Virtual Reality and Quantum Communications Fields? A simple email address so that an interview can be arranged is all that is needed these days .... to demonstrate, well Miraculous Powers with Virtual Remote Controls is no exaggeration or false promise from those Active and Operative in the Terrain.

    Methinks there is no one with such savvy, and thus are governments everywhere puppets of private enterprise and ITStars. But I would be as pleased as Punch to be proved wrong.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll be interesting...

    To see who eventually gets these jobs. Can't help but assume that they will go the Dr Fox route on these.

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    28 posts? 2 £million?

    Are they serious?

    It will take at a minimum: 5 years of across government commitment to observing standards & maintenance. Compromising on commitment will probably open flood doors and huge inflowing of standard civil service low key mediocrity.

  8. RobE
    Thumb Up


    This is a very fresh approach to employment in the public services sector - especially within IT. I look forward to supreme results as a result of "world class talent". Afterall the only other place hiring these people is the finance institution, which in terms of IT is heavily underfunded from what I gather, since banks usually have a small team of IT professionals expected to do the work of a much larger team.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    28 posts...

    ...and not a tester in sight.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice try

    And let's be honest here, if you never try, you'll never win, too. Even so I feel hard pressed to get arsed to even look at the descriptions, certain I can do stuff and gain the respect of my peers but equally certain I don't have the "long, proven" track record, as I an singularly unable to get through HR or recruiter screens. This is a bit of a chicken/egg problem for me. That sort of thing is also a bit of a chicken/egg problem for these peeps. They want good people, but will they recognise them?

    To this cynic, the signs point to most likely not. Oh well, at least a couple people other than the usual get to make a little dosh. One hopes.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice try

    Let's be honest here. If you never try, you'll never win. So kudos for trying. Yet I still feel hard pressed to get arsed enough to even look at the descriptions. I know I can do stuff and earn the respect of my peers. But I don't have the "proven track record" that'll get me past HR or a recruiter screen. This is a chicken/egg problem for me. This sort of thing bites on the other side too: Will they recognise talent? Past performance suggests this is not likely, making me wonder what they'll end up hiring. Oh well, at least some folks other than the usual might get to make a nice bit of dosh. One hopes.

  12. John A Blackley


    Hope springs eternal in the human beast (intentional misprint). JakeyC and AC have it right - nothing about testers or infosec in the article.

    But hey, let's hope that means they already have these essentials on board. Our government's IT efforts in the past have been known for their excellent testing and security, right?

    What's that you say?

  13. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Project managers wanted.

    No project management abilities or experience required. Must have experience of hiring external consultancy firms.

  14. Hatless Pemberty

    Say what?

    Honestly, I have no idea what the man is talking about.

    And my head hurts now.

    At least I didn't notice any mention of pathfinders or stakeholders (whatever those things may be)

    All I want to know is this: are they going to hire someone, anyone, who understands that a "security policy" is not written memo.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cut the guy some slack.

      The internal word according to a few chaps that work there is: He is turning things around.

      They are starting to line up much more like an external business rather than the usual crowd one expects to see, and they are joining up their thinking. They are even looking at people regardless of them having clearances, which is a BiiG improvement over the usual BS about needing clearance due to the urgent nature etc...

      Yes his new team will pay for themselves because they should improve the choices made and engage in pushing back on the usual over charging by suppliers.

      Good on him.

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