back to article Conflict of interest? We've heard of it. Amazon on selection panel to choose's chief digi officer

Again highlighting cosy relations between Amazon and, Alex Chisholm, Cabinet Office permanent secretary and head of the civil service, has confirmed the etail giant's UK’s head Doug Gurr will sit on a panel that chooses the next government chief digital officer (GCDO). Chisholm, previously a senior figure in the …

  1. batfink


    What - no Dido Harding?

    1. Quando

      Re: Omission?

      She wouldn't leave what she is currently breaking for a mere £200k...

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    It's me!

    I should seriously consider to apply. Due to covid I'm sure that working remotely is not only a possibility but rather a must - otherwise I'd have to move back to Blighty. The only thing missing is a (prior) conviction. Although I'm sure I will fulfil that with corruption-related activities once I hold the position.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "“... overhaul Government’s legacy IT systems ..."

    Odd how things change. A legacy was once something you looked forward to. Now it's something you want to scrap.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: "“... overhaul Government’s legacy IT systems ..."

      I look forward to scrapping legacy systems!

      Not so hard, I'm going...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what corruption looks like in the UK

    More subtle than straight bribery, but just as damaging.

    1. RM Myers

      Re: This is what corruption looks like in the UK

      I'm afraid this is true in many more places than just the UK.

  5. Long John Silver


    No person connected with another nation, this by virtue of citizenship or employment, should be a member of the final decision-taking panel. Similarly, wholly British controlled commerce should be kept at arms length from the panel.

    That's not to say experienced people in relevant business sectors shouldn't be consulted on aspects of the job description, on desirable skills and experience, and on work priorities to be listed in the job description. Maybe, pre-final interview the candidates could go before panels of businessmen and high ranking IT people; their purpose would be to identify aspects of apparent strength or weakness in candidates to be formulated as candidate specific areas for questioning in depth. This need not go against the broad principle of subjecting all candidates to all relevant topic areas.

    The present government has already been flagged for enquiry about aspects of financial probity. It should heed warning that scrutiny cannot be avoided.

  6. macjules

    Gurr is exiting Amazon later this year to become the director of the Natural History Museum.

    From one dinosaur to another.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    “highly inappropriate”

    Oh, come now, we all know that this is inevitable. Amazon is just taking its rightful place in the government wheels. Place which will allow it to better serve the public, right ?

    I mean, hey, multi-billion dollar corporations have been wining and dining lobbying government officials since their first billion, so why not get real and give them a seat at the decision table ?

    It's not like there are any government officials who have the balls to send them packing anyway. They need those sweet retirement gigs.

    1. Chris G

      Re: “highly inappropriate”

      It used to be that politicians who played the right game could look forward to a peerage and a seat in the House of Lords where they could have a paid for nap in their dotage, nowadays their sights are set a lot higher and they play a more rewarding game for a seat on a board somewhere.

      I daresay for more money and probably not much need to show up for a nap.

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    The new GCDO should be savvy enough to recognise a "Mutant Algorithm" from his elbow when he sees one. With Dominic Summings' [sic] fetish for all things AI and Algorithms, we'll no doubt be hearing about "Mutant Algorithms" all too frequently

  9. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

    Coming soon to the NHM giftshop

    Affiliate links

  10. NeilPost


    That will be another Senior UK Civil Servant to be sacked then for questioning this governments competence/morality.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Sacked!!

      I was listening to LBC yesterday, onevitem was about BJ and Cummings (mostly Cummings' idea) to shake up the civil service to make them more accountable for cock ups.

      The bottom line apoeared to me to be more about reducing the security of tenure of senior civil servants that present a barrier to BJ and DC's latest plan du jour.

      In spite of the many failings we see with the civil service, they often serve as one of the checks and balances against many of the exigencies of self serving politicians.

  11. codejunky Silver badge


    So someone with a clue will be on the panel! Fingers crossed the others on the panel do too!

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