Steve Palmer, chief information officer at the London Borough of Hillingdon, has been appointed as the new president of Socitm.

Hillingdon Council CIO Palmer becomes Socitm presidentPalmer will take the helm of the public sector IT managers’ organisation, replacing Richard Steel, who is CIO at Newham Borough Council and regular blogger for Computerworld UK.

Palmer was confirmed as president at Socitm’s annual general meeting last Thursday, and will hold the post for one year.

He was formerly one of Socitm’s three vice presidents, and has chaired Socitm London.

At Hillingdon Council, Palmer is driving a change in citizen services. In 2006, Palmer was named ‘Public Sector CIO of the Year’ at the UK Technology, Innovation & Growth awards. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered Information Technology Practitioner.

The appointment comes at a time when Socitm is attempting to expand its membership from local authority IT management to the charity and private sectors too.

Palmer said that the “economic crisis and local government re-organisation will test us”, but that IT “really can deliver more for less”.

In March, Socitm told local authorities that more targeted spending on self-service websites would help save them money during the recession.