MoJ on the hunt for Head of Prisons Digital Services to help end reliance on ‘monolithic supplier owned systems’

Profile picture for user ddpreez By Derek du Preez February 24, 2020
The Head of Prisons Digital Services will help the MoJ deliver new digital services and technology infrastructure solutions ‘at pace’.

Image of a prison fence

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is on the hunt for a candidate to become its Head of Prisons Digital Services, a role that will command a salary of up to £95,000. 

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPP) Digital team’s aim is to deliver joined up services that “save lives, time and money; wherever and on whatever device is best”. It has said that its aspiration is to completely end its dependencies on monolithic supplier owned systems and develop a flexible ecosystem of user centred services. 

The Head of Prisons Digital Services will report directly to the MoJ’s Chief Digital and Information Officer, Tom Read, and be responsible for all digital and technology services across prisons and youth justice. 

The MoJ more broadly is an interesting Department in terms of its digital development. It and its executive agencies are responsible for some very ambitious programmes - including the HM Courts and Tribunals Service’s £1.2 billion transformation programme - and it has also recently revealed that it is planning to move thousands of its systems to the public cloud.

In a recent blog posting, the MoJ said that moving to the cloud meant both saving money and being better “able to manage, change, improve, and secure our systems and the data they hold, as well as making it easier to make them more resilient to failure”.

However, it has faced significant criticism over its delivery of certain projects, including its e-tagging programme, as well as its HM Courts and Tribunals Service reform

MoJ’s CDIO, Tom Read, said that the Head of Prisons Digital Services will help the Department transform some of the most fundamental services offered by government. He said: 

Our vision is a digitally-enabled end-to-end justice system which can adapt and respond to changing needs. Can you help us get there?

Why should you work for us? First and foremost, because we build things that matter. There are millions of people interacting with our services every year, often at the most difficult times of their lives. We want to provide them with simple to use, effective services which are built around their needs and help to improve access to justice.

On top of this we are transforming the way our 70,000 staff working across over 900 sites work by providing them with the tools and technology to connect, collaborate and innovate as well as creating a more flexible, digital workplace.

There is a lot of work still to do to see through the journey we have set out on. There are challenges ahead but these will be outweighed by the rewards in achieving our vision. If you have the skills, leadership and qualities we are looking for, we’d love you to join us.

The role

The chosen candidate for the role will be responsible for all digital and technology services provided to HMPSS, across prisons and youth justice. 

Specifically, the Head of Prisons Digital Services will be tasked with: 

  • Working as part of the MoJ Digital & Technology leadership team to set strategy and direction, create a shared sense of purpose, and ensure the team is achieving its overarching goals.

  • Running a core team of around 70, made up of multidisciplinary digital delivery teams, and application support teams plus a number of external managed services.

  • Defining a coherent future vision and strategy for the digital transformation of prison and youth justice services, and delivering it in line with the overall strategic goals of MoJ and its agencies.

  • Ensuring existing services for prison and youth justice staff, members of the public, and offenders in custody are maintained, patched and upgraded.

  • Building the understanding of the opportunities of digital transformation across the HMPPS executive leadership team.

  • Leading a portfolio of change programmes and products, and making joint prioritisation decisions with the agency and MoJ Digital & Technology leadership teams.

  • Working in close partnership with other parts of the central MoJ Digital & Technology team, including Platforms & Architecture, Privacy & Security, and Common Technology Services.

In addition to this, the chosen candidate will define the vision and strategy for the digital transformation of prison and youth justice services, be an adviser to the HMPPS executive team, work closely with ministerial teams, deliver new digital and tech solutions at pace, be accountable for the delivery of complex digital products and services, as well as build and nurture a growing team based in Sheffield. 

Those interested in the role will need to have experience and a proven track record of developing a delivering a coherent digital strategy, leading a digital transformation in a complex environment, as well as feel confident in representing the community to large audiences inside and outside of government. 

Applications for the position close on Sunday 1st March 2020.

Image credit - Image sourced via Pixabay

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