The Ministry of Justice chief digital officer Paul Shetler has left to take up a directorship at the Government Digital Service.

Shetler will be responsible for promoting and supporting the digitisation of public services, according to an internal update to staff at the GDS, which is led by government digital director Mike Bracken.

Shetler will work to ensure the 25 redesigned digital 'exemplar' government services become "business as usual", it said.

He will be tasked with "creating reference case material for the transformation programmes" and "collateral and financial rationale for the digitisation of public services".

The GDS head of transformation David Dilley has stepped in as interim MoJ CDO for 'at least six months', CIO UK understands. Unusually, he will still report to GDS, rather than MoJ corporate services.

Shetler was at the MoJ for just over a year and left at the end of last month, according to his LinkedIn page.

During that time he claims to have increased the department's digital team from 75 to 165.

He says he also led delivery of four redesigned online exemplar services: applications for civil claims, prison visit booking, lasting power of attorney applications and applying to an employment tribunal.

Part of Shetler's role was to help oversee the £160 million 'common platform' project, an ambitious scheme aimed at enabling most criminal justice work to be done online by creating a single web platform for case information.

Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, according to Whitehall projects watchdog the Major Projects Authority (MPA).

The MPA said the scheme had 'major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas' and needed 'urgent action' to address them in its latest review.

CIO UK understands Shetler is about halfway through a two-year contract with Whitehall. The MoJ is yet to explain the reasons for his departure or who will replace him.

The Ministry of Justice has had a succession of technology leaders since CIO Andy Nelson stepped down in February 2013.

Nick Ramsay served as interim CIO until January 2014, before the position was then scrapped and replaced by the two roles of CTO and CDO, a combination increasingly popular in Whitehall.

Shetler joined as CDO in January 2014 and was joined by CTO Ian Sayer in August last year, former global CIO at Electrolux.

Before coming to Whitehall, Shetler worked for Oracle, Microsoft and SWIFT and helped to set up a mobile app startup.