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8/2/2013
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U.K. Tax Agency Names New CIO

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs names Vodafone's Mark Dearnley to head IT.

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) has appointed Mark Dearnley, currently CIO of Vodafone U.K., as its new CIO.

In his new role, Dearnley will be responsible for running the IT platform that collects all the U.K.'s personal and corporate tax. He will manage a £500 million ($763 million) technology budget and direct all IT operations for the organization, which serves 45 million individuals, 4.8 million businesses and 65,000 HMRC employees.

Dearnley will also be responsible for driving forward the HMRC's £200 million ($305 million) digitization program and accelerating online services for all U.K. taxpayers, as well as leading the group's physical, personnel and information security agenda.

According to government sources, Dearnley was recruited through fair and open competition under its business appointment procedures for senior civil servants, and his appointment was approved by Prime Minister David Cameron. The annual salary for this role is £180,000 ($275,000).

[ Is technology really helping to reduce government red tape? Read Critic Question U.K. Government Tech Gains. ]

Dearnley, who holds a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Brunel University, has served as CIO at Vodafone UK since 2010, where he had responsibility for supporting 19 million customers. In that role, he led an initiative to overhaul the mobile firm's business-critical information systems, which led his to being named Oracle Global Business Unit CIO of the Year in 2012.

He is also credited with the successful restructuring of Vodafone's IT operating model, which centered on the introduction of cloud-based technologies into its datacenter. "It is an indication of the scale and seriousness of the government's digital ambition that one of the U.K.'s most experienced CIOs is leaving the private sector to take on this major role," said senior civil servant David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. "Mark Dearnley's appointment is evidence that government has the cutting-edge challenges that can attract the very best leaders in IT to public service."

HMRC chief executive Lin Homer added, "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."

Dearnley, who has spent his entire career in the private sector, mostly in customer-facing businesses, said, "No private business in the U.K. can match the customer base, scale or complexity of HMRC, which makes this role irresistible. I am thrilled to have been appointed and can't wait to get started."

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