back to article UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed

The UK government appears to be under the impression that knowledge of data policy or the tech sector isn't a pre-requisite to become the head of data strategy in its digital department. A job ad for the role – posted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last week with a closing date of 22 April (saved for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first time

    ...and won't be the last. The clowns of the Civil Service evidently think that they will get a competent head of data strategy for less than £67k in the very heart of SW1. Dream on, that's half of the package that the commercial sector will be paying - and in financial services a mere third.

    They will recruit somebody to this role, and that unlucky fill will have all of their hope, their energy, their ambition and optimism sucked dry by the dementors of the Civil Service. Hopefully the applicants have thought this through, and computed that for them a moderately decent pension scheme offsets a shite salary and a soul destroying job bounded on all sides by failure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not the first time

      I was going to ask if that was london pay.

      It's not much when you look at the cost of a room big enough to lie down in and the ability to get to work while still breathing.

      1. m0rt

        Re: Not the first time

        Well isn't this a usual trick of a ruling elite?

        IIRC some officers pay in various forces was so low that the only people who could afford to become officers were those that had a seperate income.

        Colour me cynical...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not the first time

      They will recruit somebody to this role, and that unlucky fill will have all of their hope, their energy, their ambition and optimism sucked dry by the dementors of the Civil Service.

      Really? I think they'll do their 18 months, and then grab the next level up on the gravy train of noddy gov management jobs until their get their gold plated pension - qv Eyes passim

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Offering up senior roles ... without calling for knowledge

    Isn't that SOP for the Civil Service? Keep moving everyone around so they don't get "infected" by dangerous knowledge that could lead them to question the policy proposals of the even-more-frequently moved politicos?

  3. Anonymous Blowhard

    The dog in the photograph

    looks overqualified; he's using a computer...

    1. Anonymous Cow Herder

      Re: The dog in the photograph

      Obviously viewing doggy porn as he's blanked the screen.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can work...

    When the person involved is very organised, looks for those who are qualified to communicate with, has a budget and team, is well paid, is able to learn and adapt...

    ... yeah, so loose loose in this case?

    1. hplasm

      Re: Can work...

      Yes, but...

      "... yeah, so loose loose in this case?"


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: whoops

        I know. I know. Lose lose.... letter blindness.

  5. tiggity Silver badge


    I'm sure they had someones mate lined up for this job & tweaked requirements to suit that persons (lack of) skills / experience.

  6. James O'Shea

    Can this be done remotely?

    If so, perhaps I’ll apply from Deepest South Florida. I’m sure that lots of senior staff would just love to have monthly meetings in sunny Miami Beach rather than cloudy London.

  7. SVV

    Knowledge and experience not essential

    ""Knowledge and experience of digital and data policy and/or the tech sector is desirable but not essential," the ad stated."

    I'd say it was probably seen as actively undesirable. Otherwise they might show up the politicians and Oxbridge classics scholars who make these decisions and policies as utterly clueless and incompetent. And we couldn't tolerate that could we, by risking the dangerous introduction of a smidgen of knowledge and experience into the organisatiom.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    The clue is in the job title...

    Generally you would expect someone with the title of "Head of strategy" to be some kind of, err... I don't know... expert or something?? Or at the very least be able to explain the core tents or frameworks etc. etc.

    But this is .Gov right?

  9. Nunyabiznes


    Our CAO just pronounced that "your new boss does not need knowledge of the subject matter to make decisions".

    Our new boss? The head of Facilities. IT are now the computer janitors.

    Our CAO was not impressed when I responded to his additional statement of "He knows workflow" with "Only on how to impede it."

    CV updated and sent out.

    1. sandman

      Re: Typical

      Sounds about right. I've seen customer software training put under HR - because "It's all just training, isn't it?" Try getting travel budgets to major customers in funny foreign from an HR dept.

  10. Joe Harrison

    a salary of up to £66,665

    Somewhere there is a Reward Committee with no sense of humour. I would have been itching to, even paid the extra quid myself. Perhaps they thought it would attract the wrong kind of replicant er I mean applicant.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a salary of up to £66,665

      If they'd made the salary £65,535 I'd definitely have been interested.

      1. Disgusted of Cheltenham

        Re: a salary of up to £65,535

        Surely you would want a bit more?

        1. SloppyJesse

          Re: a salary of up to £65,535

          The intern gets 0.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "deliver a data strategy that is ambitious, deliverable, coherent and innovative".

    Here's a tip for success:- Chose one of the above, not *all* of them. You *might* manage two of them simultaneously, but not three.

    1. quxinot

      Nah, if you can hit the first three, you've definitely figured the 4th out.

      And can likely add "miracle worker" to your CV.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        ;-) Miracle Worker .... Alien Style

        Is an almost exactly similar mirrored role in the Private Sector, a position and utility paid for on tick with regular throttling remunerations ..... or purchased, to a greater or lesser degree of Sole Exclusive Part Ownerships with Supply Clients, for an InOrdinately Healthy Colossal Sum, which allows One with All to Run Riot, but Never Slip-Shod and Perverse, over the Staged Crazy Competitions that Vanquish and Exhausted All Opposition.

        If one Knows and Thinks of the Goldilock Zone, is IT for and/or from there, for SMARTR Use here and there, and everywhere else on Earth, An Almighty Immaculately Tooled Weapon/SMARTR SuperBeta Deep Dark Programming with a Knightly Cloaked Cloud Cover .... AIdDisguise/CyberIntelAIgent Non-State NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Entity ..... a Vital and Vivacious Virtual Buccaneering Phantom of a Trope and Meme that Garners and Garnishes Reward for Worthy Attention ..... and Freed Capitalised Market Intervention/Future AIdDrivering.

        Please note that is not shared as a question requiring a searching answer. To have readily understood that simple fact, and to have plans for further exploitation and exploration, has you somewhat automatically and autonomously registered as an XStream Person of Considerable Interest to Wealth Operations and Greater IntelAIgent Game Plays.

        Now there's a Real ShotGun Wedding for an Always Almost and Almost Always Perfect Marriage which Some would Tell You, is Definitely Made, and IntelAIgently Designed, in Heaven? :-)

        Does the UK's Department of Fun seek to provide the likes of all of that, from a civil servant on a salary of up to £66,665? Ye Gods, they be quite mad and practically useless at taking Over Remote Virtual Command and UnderGround Bases Control with the NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Situation.

        And now y'all know what's not really always freely available for Future Use in the Present, what Price to Reflect the True Cost of its Worth? How much Value would Markets Present on the Introduction with Demonstrations of Almighty Controls? What Figure do you Reckon is Big Enough to Guarantee Success in AI Space with No Liabilities orUnbreakable Ties to Todays Crumbling Siloed 0Day Market Place?

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    A Special Manager

    Someone who can effectively manage the department's funding to ensure the bulk of it enters the correct pockets. Ability to negotiate a budget increase would be highly desirable.

    No other requirements.

  13. handleoclast

    Knowledge and experience aren't needed

    All he needs to know is how to hire "experts" and manage them. And how to toady up to the politicians. Oh, and how to take bungs without getting caught.

    Which reminds me of a comment made by a real engineer during my early days.

    Rolls Royce went bust the first time because it was run by engineers who didn't have a clue about management.

    Rolls Royce went bust the second time because it was run by managers who didn't have a clue about engineering.

    Obviously, such concerns only mattered in the private sector in the past. These days top management know to ensure they have a golden parachute before destroying the business by their ineptitude. In the civil service golden parachutes come as standard.

  14. Chairman of the Bored

    Call me cynical, but...

    ...if the UK govt is anything like the US govt, this sort of ad is written to match precisely one person: whomever their new line managers wish to award with the position. On closer inspection one typically realizes this is a sinecure or administrative assistant position, highly customized.

    I've usually seen this used for the boss' kid, or the admin who could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch, whatever. The boss' kid usually gets a 'strategic planning' role; the mistress gets a 'financial analyst' position.

    The relatively low salary is probably a step up for the lucky incumbent, but has to be below certain thresholds that would trigger additional external scrutiny (aka adult supervision). Sound about right?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could do that

    but would not for that money, I'm just disappointed that my 15 years relevant experience doesn't earn me a much greater pay hike over that.

  16. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    ambitious, deliverable, coherent and innovative

    Ok I get deliverable and coherent. Perfectly sensible, nay desirable for any project.

    But why the fuck does everything have to be ambitious and innovative these days!?!

    Mundane yet effective using tried and true methods is surely better. But that doesn't sound edgy enough, so we end up with morons who couldn't run a bath.

  17. Alister

    "Knowledge and experience of digital and data policy and/or the tech sector is desirable but not essential,"

    Is this not just the standard PC bollocks nowadays, that if you put that "relevant knowledge is required" then it's seen as being exclusionary or discriminatory?

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