HMRC has poached the current chief information officer (CIO) of Vodafone, Mark Dearnley, to head up their £500m-a-year IT operations.
The Revenue's new CIO will take up the post in October and will be responsible for implementing HMRC’s £20m digitisation programme and accelerating the planned delivery of online service for taxpayers.
In addition, he will lead HMRC’s physical, personnel and information security services.
Previous acting CIO Mark Hall appears to have been passed over for the role, but HMRC said that the recruitment process was subject to “fair and open competition”.
Dearnley has been working as CIO of Vodafone since 2010 and is responsible for IT that supports 19 million customers.
He led a programme that overhauled the company’s business critical information systems and restructured its IT operating model. He also introduced cloud-based technologies into Vodafone, something that fits in with HMRC’s digital strategy.
Coincidently, HMRC plans to introduce some cloud elements in the coming October, in the form of iForms.
This is a cloud-based solution that will produce: “quality, standards-based forms in HTML and other formats that offer an excellent user experience for customers.”
The iForms capability will interface with web services making it re-usable in the future. By procuring a cloud-based service HMRC aims to make the iForms solution scalable in line with future demand for digital services,” the strategy read.
It also outlined how switching HMRC to a ‘digital by default’ organisation will save £160-220m per year by moving 29 million transactions online.
This will be Dearnley’s first role in the public sector, something he says is exciting.
“I have spent my entire career in the private sector, mostly in customer-facing businesses. But no private business in the UK can match the customer base, scale or complexity of HMRC, which makes this role irresistible.
“I am thrilled to be appointed and can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to Vodafone, Dearnley spent six years at Cable & Wireless as CIO and in other IT roles, as well as chief operating officer and programme director at Boots.
His new HMRC role was approved by the Prime Minister and he will receive an annual salary of £180,000.
HMRC chief executive Lin Homer said Dearnley is definitely the right man for the job.
“Mark is an exceptionally experienced CIO with strong leadership and change management skills as well as an accomplished technical background across a spectrum of IT disciplines. HMRC has already embarked on an ambitious programme of digitisation to provide taxpayers with modern online services and Mark is the right person to deliver that for the UK.”