The Cabinet Office’s Katie Davis, who takes over next month, on an interim basis, from Health CIO Christine Connelly, is ex-Accenture.
But that shouldn’t be held against her. Accenture left the NPfIT in 2006 with its reputation untarnished.
A profile of Davis appeared in The Telegraph in 2007. The newspaper described her as a yank at the court of King Tony, set on excellence in IT.
Though it could be assumed that Davis has a “big company” approach, and so would welcome the continued dominance of the NPfIT, she told The Telegraph she found her time at Accenture highly satisfying but after a while she stopped having fun.
“The overheads of working for a huge corporation had slightly impaired my ability to deliver. By overheads, I mean travel and the demands of process. My needs and those of the corporation did not overlap so well.”
She also said she worked in the NHS.
“I had worked with the NHS before, and was seconded to work with some of the cleverest and most committed people I’d ever been in a working environment with. It opened my eyes to the challenges and the excitement of working in the public sector.”
Davis has the advantage of having started her career as an engineer (electrical). Which makes it sound as if she’s more practical and realistic than visionary and idealistic. She may make an excellent (permanent) Health CIO.
The last word in excellence
Tony says: “Davis has the advantage of having started her career as an engineer (electrical). Which makes it sound as if she’s more practical and realistic than visionary and idealistic. She may make an excellent (permanent) Health CIO”.
Ms Davis may, indeed, make an excellent CIO.
While we are waiting for the future to unfold, we can only divert ourselves with an examination of her record to date.
1. She is currently the Executive Director of Operational Excellence at the Cabinet Office. Do we have more operational excellence since her advent, yes or no?
2. Before that she was the Executive Director of Strategy at the Identity & Passport Service. Was it a good strategy, yes or no?
3. Before that, according to the Telegraph, she wanted to set up a public service IT academy. Do we have a public service IT academy, yes or no?
4. Before that, same source, she worked in the Delivery and Transformation Group, all something to do with the Transformational Government initiative. Has government been transformed, yes or no?
5. In his report on DEFRA’s Rural Payments Agency, David Hunter lists the members of the RPA Board. And there, almost the last line of Mr Hunter’s 75-page report, is Ms Davis, Non-Executive Director, MIS, Change. Was she a successful non-executive director, MIS, change, yes or no?
The multi-billion pound question
Tony says: “The Cabinet Office’s Katie Davis, who takes over next month, on an interim basis, from Health CIO Christine Connelly, is ex-Accenture … But that shouldn’t be held against her. Accenture left the NPfIT in 2006 with its reputation untarnished”.
Actually, Accenture left the NPfIT in 2006 with a provision in the accounts for $450 million of losses. As reputations go, that’s tarnished.
The reputation which is untarnished is Richard Granger’s. It is thanks to him that that $450 million was on Accenture’s books and not the British Exchequer’s.
How things have changed since he left.
Accenture handed over to CSC. They have learnt to bumble along, failing hither thither and yon and, under Christine Connelly, it really didn’t matter, they got paid anyway. Same with BT.
Which will Katie Davis be? That is the multi-billion pound question. A Granger? Or a Connelly?