The taxman is looking for a chief information officer (CIO) to deliver an extensive transformation to its IT department over the next two years.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is advertising the position with a starting salary of £108,000, but the right candidate could earn up to £205,000.

The CIO role would be one of the "biggest and most challenging in Europe", according to the advert, heading up 1,400 staff and managing a budget in excess of £1 billion in one of the largest IT departments in Europe.

The successful applicant would be joining HMRC as the government department undertakes an extensive overhaul of internal IT and data security procedures to meet tougher data handling sanctions spelt out under the Poynter Review. The review , which was commissioned after the department lost 25 million people’s details in 2007, found that HMRC had "fragmented and complex IT systems" which made it difficult for the organisation to identify and manage its information security risks.

The CIO would be expected to work with these systems, and transform the security measures of the department.

Another key priority would be to manage the £8.5 billion Aspire contract, the HMRC 10-year outsourcing deal with Capgemini. The CIO would also run an IT transformation project over the next two years, making IT services "faster, better and cheaper”, according to the job specification.

HMRC is on hunt for CIO "In a substantial and challenging leadership role, the CIO will transform customer service and improve compliance with the tax system, as well as enhance the efficiency of tax administration. The needs of customers, particularly businesses, is a key focus of this reform agenda and IT/IS will play a critical role in the delivery of these objectives.”

The new CIO will replace Steve Lamey who took on the director general role. Former Tesco CIO Colin Cobain was also recently appointed as a non-executive director of the UK’s tax collecting body, reflecting the increasing prominence of IT leadership within the government department.

The department is looking for a candidate with extensive IT leadership and management experience at a senior level - ideally within the FTSE 100 or a large public sector body - some of which should be international.

The role is a three year fixed term appointment under normal Civil Service terms with the option, by agreement, to renew the contract or to take up a permanent appointment.

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