Wanted: UK e-envoy, apply within

Alex Allan, the country’s first e-envoy, has announced his retirement for personal reasons, and will vacate the post next Friday after less than a year in office.

Recruitment consultant Whitehead Mann GKR is heading up the search for a replacement, starting with an advert in the Sunday Times. Click here for a sneek preview of the ad.

During his tenure in the role, Allan has been the public face for government schemes and plans, and a force behind its stated intention to make the UK one of the leading countries for ecommerce in the world.

Specifically he has overseen changes to the way public sector IT contracts are awarded, as well as the planned introduction of more IT training programmes, and more computers in public schools and libraries.

He has also had to defend the government’s IT record against criticisms levelled over tax changes that have hit contractors hard, and over plans to snoop on emails.

Whoever replaces Allan will manage a team of 60, split into three divisions. These are charged with ensuring all government services can be delivered online by 2005, promoting Britain as an ecommerce nation and producing the government’s network of 1,000 websites.

The post has been graded at senior Civil Service pay bands 7,8 or 9, making it the equivalent of a permanent secretary to a government department and one of the best paid jobs in the Civil Service, at up to £127,432 p.a.

So far, four names have emerged as candidates. Ann Steward, currently director of the e-government group within the e-envoy’s office; Richard Barrington, director of industry in the e-envoy’s office; Jim Norton, chairman at the Institute of Directors; and Rene Carayol, former IT director at IPC Magazines.

Closing date for applications is 23 October. A three-strong panel of Civil Service commissioners will interview prospective candidates, with an appointment expected in November.

Ian Lynch writes for vnunetUK gets first ‘webmaster general’

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