News story

Mike Bracken set to move on from GDS

Mike Bracken, Executive Director and Chief Data Officer of the Government Digital Service, is set to move on after 4 and a half years.


Having led the transformation of the UK government’s digital services for the last 4 years, Mike Bracken has decided to move on from his role as Executive Director of the Government Digital Service (GDS) and Government Chief Data Officer.

Under Mike’s leadership, the UK has become a world leader in digital government, with the US Digital Service, the Australian Digital Transformation Office and many others modelling themselves on GDS.

GOV.UK provides a single domain for government used by hundreds of departments and agencies, saving the taxpayer more than £60 million a year. Making government services digital by default has delivered better services at a much lower cost – like registering to vote, filling in your tax self assessment and viewing driving licence information.

Many new digital teams have been established in departments, with the capability to build world-class digital services. We have completely reshaped how we use and buy technology and are beginning to give civil servants better technology – at least as good as the devices they have at home.

This first phase of transformation has now been successfully completed. The new generation of digital and tech talent that Mike has helped to bring, not just into GDS, but across government, will lead the next phases – Government as a Platform, Common Technology Services, and redefining the government’s role on data.

Government as a Platform will build a set of core platforms that every government service can use. We’re set to implement the next phase to achieve better services at lower cost across government, and are already developing several platforms (GOV.UK is one, the Performance Platform, Digital Marketplace and GOV.UK Verify) – but there is much more to do.

Mike will remain in his role until 30 September and will assist in identifying the best structure for the next phase of digital transformation.

Mike Bracken said:

It’s been a total privilege to be given such an opportunity and I can only say thank you to all of those who have supported us over the years. I leave full of optimism for the future, certain in knowing that many of the reforms we have helped lead will make users lives and the machinery of government better. A simpler, clearer, faster service for users is always better for government, and I hope to be a happy user of many more to come over the next Parliament.

Chief Executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni, said:

It has been a pleasure to work with Mike, and I am sure many will join me in thanking him for all he has done to make things better for users of government services around the UK. Mike has played a central part in developing a functional model at the heart of government, and digital has paved the way for joining up the centre and departments until a single vision. I wish him the best for the next phase of his career.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Jeremy Heywood, said:

I would like to thank Mike personally for the vital catalytic role he has played in helping to transform government digital services. Under his leadership the UK is now genuinely considered to be a world leader in digital government. Mike has also done a great job building an enduring digital capability within the civil service, helping to attract world class digital talent into government, both in GDS and in departments. Thanks to the outstanding platform Mike has built I am confident that our programme of digital and data transformation will continue apace.

Published 3 August 2015