Joe Harley, IT director general and CIO of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) earns nearly double the salary of the prime minister, a list published by the Cabinet Office shows.

Harley, with a salary of up to £249,999, is one of seven IT directors in the government who earn more than Prime Minister David Cameron’s annual salary of £142,500.

As part of the new government’s efforts to be more transparent, the Cabinet Office released a list of the senior civil servants across government who earned salaries of more than £150,000. A total 172 civil servants were revealed in the list to earn more than the prime minister.

According to the list, Harley was the highest earning CIO, followed by John Suffolk, CIO for HM Government and chair of the CIO Council, who earns up to £209,999. Christine Connelly, CIO for the Department of Health (DoH) was the third highest-earning CIO, earning up to £204,999, and the only female IT director on the list.

Other IT directors included Andy Nelson, CIO at the Ministry of Justice (up to £194,999), Phil Pavitt, CIO at HM Revenues & Customs (£184,999), and Nick Ramsay, director of ICT Portfolio and Programmes at the Ministry of Justice and Martin Bellamy, ICT director at DoH who both earn up to £164,999.

Across the government departments, the highest earner was John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading, who has a salary of up to £279,999. Meanwhile, NHS chief executive David Nicholson earns up to £259,999, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup at the Ministry of Defence earns up to £244,999.

The government’s new Public Sector Transparency Board will be responsible for setting open data standards across the public sector. Chaired by Francis Maude, the minister for the Cabinet Office, the board's other members will include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, a computer science expert from the University of Southampton, who were both going to be involved with a planned Institute of Web Science until it was axed as part of the government's plan to slash public spending.

In a recent letter to cabinet ministers, Cameron set out the coalition government’s initial transparency commitments, which includes publishing all new central government ICT contracts online from July 2010 and publishing all new central government tender documents for contracts over £10,000 on a single website from September 2010, available free of charge to the public. Cameron also plans to publish all new central government contracts in full from January 2011.