back to article Head of Big Tech Expertise? Believe it or not, it's a vacancy for a Whitehall job

UK government is on the hunt for an expert to help shape relations with the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google, a role that includes a remit to "fulfil partnership opportunities" with the megacorps and "deliver against their needs and demands." The Head of Big Tech Expertise role is based within the Digital and Tech Policy …

  1. Terry 6 Silver badge


    It's indicative of how Londoncentric the Civil Service still is that such a word is still used. In essence, they can devolve the dogsbody civil servants to place North of the M25. But anyone important is in "Whitehall"

    Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. Wikipedia

  2. Steve K Silver badge


    I'm not sure that salary range (wherever the candidate is geographically) will attract the right candidate for a "Head of Big Tech Expertise".....

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Salary?

      I hadn't noticed that salary. About the same level as a Headteacher of a smallish local authority school. So a bit more than a head of a large LA school department would get. Perfect for a moderately successful head of IT wanting to get out of education

      Also, from the private sector, I found this online;

      Head of Finance - job post

      St Helen's School


      £60,000 a year

    2. Empire of the Pussycat

      Re: Salary?

      The job ad mentions "secondment" as a contract type.

      Given the role, I'd suspect that candidates from the government's consultancy chums will be welcomed.

      They'll still rake in their normal compensation while on secondment, the 50k will be handy to cover a few meals and a nice holiday, and it'll open up plenty of opportunity to sell-in additional services.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Salary?

      At least that salary won't risk attracting the attention of Dido Harding and her ilk.

    4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Salary?

      Maybe this is just a "trial" before you get a directorship at the client ;-)

    5. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Salary?

      They will get a London Help Desk Manager/team lead at that salary who’s experience with AWS will be restarting a hung VM Host.

      Unless it’s a typo and they missed a 1 off the front ?? … or it’s 2 days a week and they have pro-rata’d it down already.


  3. Aoyagi Aichou


    It's probably difficult to find someone who would be in their pocket without some obvious conflict of interest.

  4. Howard Sway Silver badge

    £58,207 annually for someone based in London

    Big Tech must have been quaking in its boots when they discovered this.

    "Oh no, they're going to attract some real experts offering this much! We won't be able to talk them into any foolish deals!"

    And of course there's the obvious point that the government shouldn't be serving the needs and demands of the tech companies, the tech companies should be serving the needs and demands of the government. You know, the normal customer / supplier relationship.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: £58,207 annually for someone based in London

      I was getting something approaching this 15 years ago working as a developer (albeit senior) in the public sector in London.

      However, think how much you'll be able to earn when you quit the job after twelve months and get to pick and choose which of the exciting portfolio of companies makes you the best offer.

    2. Dave@Home

      Re: £58,207 annually for someone based in London

      ahem - New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

      National - £47,073 to £52,968

      London - £51,729 to £58,207

      yeah no thanks

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "fulfil partnership opportunities" with the megacorps and "deliver against their needs and demands."

    Really? This is the customer delivering to the supplier.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which side of the fence.... ?

    I'm not clear which side of the fence this position is.

    Is this a "sales" position, to sell big tech into government, or is it someone in government keeping an eye on what big tech is trying to enforce on them?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Which side of the fence.... ?

      Bending over it?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm trying to get my head around what this job entails.

    Say, the prospective candidate understands the specifics of what AWS, Azure and Oracle offers on a technical front in terms of their Cloud products, the job surely becomes more nuanced on a financial front (assuming you look ahead, and prices charged currently are carrots to reel in the Government contracts and create a lock-in.).

    I can't in my head make the next step to what is meant to be achieved by this job posting. From the Government Cloud contracts so far signed, they seem very much signing off subscriptions for, off the shelf technologies like Office 365. At circa £58,000 you're really not going to have much leeway/movement/headway to switching any of this existing tech out for even Google Docs or an even more radical solution, a LibreOffice OpenDocument solution. If anything, the move seems to be toward using Excel -VB for Applications embedded- spreadsheets for 'rapid prototyping' data gathering tasks (new to Government in 2022 but around since 1997), and all the problems that occur from that.

    I'd love to hear from others, what the brief actually is, because it's difficult to know, unless you're already on the inside, and have the budgets and know the type of Cloud solutions they are looking at. From the sound of things hybrid on site, cloud solutions, aren't part of this job description.

    No one ever got sacked for buying Microsoft Cloud solutions...the new IBM, is where we are heading. {facepalm}.

  8. Persona Silver badge

    Only one Candidate?

    The candidate briefing PDF is the vaguest I have ever seen. I would hazard a guess that the person posting the job has no idea what the newly appointed candidate should do but may have heard that "Big Tech" is important. The desired skills are just "experience of Big Tech" and "experience of working in Whitehall". You can imagine people would move from Whitehall to Big Tech but the few that are returning are liable to be the ones who were hopelessly out of their depth. As such the shallow pool of candidates is pretty small and is perhaps just a single person for whom a two year position has been specifically created for them to return to the safety of Whitehall.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Only one Candidate?

      Experience of AWS could be watching Clarkson’s Farm.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The ideal candidate will be an "inquisitive" sort"

    So not an ex-minister or someone they once met in their local pub...

  10. CommonBloke

    I think i'm the ideal person for the job

    I have absolutely no idea what will actually be expected of me, I will silently nod to whatever people tell me and will always sign papers without reading them. Oh, I'm great at blaming others in case something I signed turns out to be bad!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think i'm the ideal person for the job

      There's a PM vacancy coming up very soon... you've got the job!

      In the meanwhile, can I sell you this Garden Bridge... no previous owners

    2. Persona Silver badge

      Re: I think i'm the ideal person for the job

      You have no chance unless you have previously worked in Whitehall.

  11. HildyJ Silver badge


    The word says it all and nothing about it is good.

    The successful candidate will be seconded directly from a big tech firm or a consulting firm (to which they had migrated from a big tech firm).

  12. DS999 Silver badge


    We need someone with experience soliciting the best bribes from big tech companies intent on keeping their tax loopholes and not running afoul of monopoly law.

  13. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Big Tech Dog?

  14. clyde666

    It's in the bag

    It's a position created specifically with someone in mind.

    I'd say the blurb that has been seen was written by an MP.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022