UK government appoints new e-envoy

The UK government has ended its four-month hunt for an e-envoy today after announcing that current interim Andrew Pinder is to take the position on a full-time basis.

A former director of the Inland Revenue’s IT division, Pinder becomes the UK’s second e-envoy after working in a temporary capacity following the resignation of Alex Allan in September.

Pinder had worked at the Inland Revenue for 17 years where he started as an inspector of taxes. On leaving he became director of systems and business operations at insurance company Prudential before becoming an IT consultant.

The appointment of Pinder came as a surprise as it was initially thought that the position would go to one of three other contenders: Ann Steward, currently director of the e-government group within the e-envoy’s office; Jim Norton, chairman at the Institute of Directors; and Peter Gershon, chief executive at the Office of Government Commerce.

It was understood that prime minister Tony Blair approved Pinder’s immediate appointment into the £127,432 a year role after beating off over 100 initial hopefuls.

Previous e-envoy Alex Allan left the role due to family illness. A Cabinet Office statement said that his reasons for leaving were “purely personal”, adding that Allan’s wife has been ill and that he wished to spend more time with her.

“I have found the job hugely stimulating and it has not been an easy decision. I am sure my team and my successor will carry the government’s programme forward with vigour,” said Allan at the time.

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