Liam Maxwell2

Liam Maxwell has agreed to stay in his post as government chief technology officer (CTO) until at least 2018.

He has served as CTO since December 2012 under Government Digital Service (GDS) director Mike Bracken, who was appointed in July 2011.

Labour has said it will "build on the work that GDS is doing" if the party forms the government after next year's general election.

Bracken said Maxwell's commitment to the CTO role was "good news for all sorts of reasons", describing him as "an important force for change".

Georgina O'Toole, director at analyst house TechMarketview, said that the news "will surprise many".

She said: "We had previously considered it unlikely that Maxwell would remain onboard after the next general election if there were a change in government. We'd always viewed him as something of a political animal."

However, she acknowledged that Maxwell and his team "have achieved a great deal, not least by contributing to billions of pounds of efficiency savings. It is heartening to see Maxwell commit to sticking around."

Bracken said Maxwell has encouraged departments to focus on user needs when designing technology services and "started the process of redesigning technology governance in government from top to bottom".

He continued: "Gradually, we're saying goodbye to the days of government services run as huge monolithic silos.

"Now we want to implement government as a platform, government made from platforms: re-usable, interconnected, easily replaced components that can be used and shared by everyone."

Bracken added that Maxwell "has attracted the type of talent we need in government", citing the recent appointment of former Credit Suisse CIO Magnus Falk as deputy CTO.

Maxwell previously held the post of deputy government CIO from April 2012 having first joined the Cabinet Office to advise on IT policy in July 2011.

His background before then was as Conservative councillor and lead member for IT at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead from 2007 to 2011 and head of Eton College's computing department.