Headlines: November 19th, 1997

David Cooke has been appointed as the new Director of the Central Information Technology Unit (CITU). The work of the Unit is to influence and co-ordinate strategy in relation to Information Sytems to ensure that the latest technology is harnessed to improve co-ordination across government.There had been expectations that the post would have been opened up to candidates from the private sector. The argument against this is that the Unit already has a number of people on secondment from IT companies and that a principle task of the Director is to understand issues on the inside of government.

David Cooke is currently working on devolution issues at the Cabinet Office and was previously a Director of the Immigration Service where he chaired the Services’ IT Board, introduced new IT systems and was closely involved with a major computer project. Before that he worked on the 1987 Broadcasting White Paper, dealing with cable, satellite and other media regulation.

Speaking about his new appointment Mr Cooke said: “I am delighted to be taking on this challenging role at the heart of Government. The work of CITU in the last two years has shown that the electronic government of the future is both exciting and achievable. Effective use of Information Technology can help the government deliver better, simpler services. I am looking forward to leading CITU, which has wide expertise from both the public and private sectors, in developing the strategy for change across Whitehall.”