© Department for Work and Pensions
© Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is on the hunt for a new Chief Digital Information Officer to replace Mayank Prakash and have left candidates just one month to apply.

Technology has played a growing role in the DWP's work in recent years, particularly following the troubled rollout of Universal Credit, which Prakash called "the largest digital transformation programme in Europe". The DWP IT estate has to handle £170 billion of annual payments and support 22 million people, but the CDIO will also be expected to introduce new digital services, as the job advert explains.

"This role is critical to our transformation as a department servicing around 20 million citizens each year," reads the job description. "The role aims to drive transformation by driving digitalisation of the business by using the potential of modern online technologies and data."

The salary on offer of £180,000 per annum is slightly less than the £195,000-£200,000 that was being paid to CIO 100 high-flyer Prakash, who will end his four-year stint in the role this month to take on a new role of lead the global digitalisation of Centrica Consumer.

Read next: Departing DWP CDIO Mayank Prakash reflects on four years in the role

The successful applicant will be responsible for an annual budget of £1.2 billion and lead 2,600 colleagues in the DWP Digital Group.

Key responsibilities will include designing and delivering the digitalisation strategy for DWP, building digital capability across the department, delivering digital and information systems and services to over 75,000 DWP colleagues and establishing strategic, sustainable relationships with suppliers and vendors.

What the CDIO should expect

The closing date for applications is 14 January 2019. All candidates selected for the longlist stage will be formally interviewed by staff from management consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, who will select a shortlist of applicants who will be invited for assessments and then final interviews on 15 March.

The successful applicant will report to DWP Permanent Secretary Peter Schofield.

"Looking forward, we see huge opportunities to use digital systems to change the way we work and provide a better service to those who rely on us. More claimants will be able to interact with us through online platforms," Schofield explains in the candidate information pack.

"And there is the opportunity for us to use data and analysis to identify those who need more help and support. We need to see the opportunities and embrace them. The CDIO we are looking for needs to be someone who has the personal skills to help the whole Department embrace these opportunities.

"The CDIO needs to have the depth of understanding of the scale of our technology and the opportunities that digital creates. The emphasis needs to be on being a team player while understanding and driving the digital transformation.

"Building relationships is key so the successful person will to drive change within a large and complex organisation. They are able to bring people with them as they challenge the status quo and solidify relationships with a broad group of people. They also demonstrate leadership and charisma that excites the organisation to drive change forward."