Iain Patterson returns to Cabinet Office following successful stint at DVLA

It was recently announced that the chief technology officer (CTO) of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Iain Patterson, will be moving back to the Cabinet Office after bringing the government organisation’s IT in-house.

Patterson previously said of the initiative:

There will be challenges ahead, but this is a massive opportunity for us. Our main aim is to create an enabled IT capability made up of highly skilled people from DVLA and the local area, alongside bringing skills and job roles back in-house.

As the IT project reaches its completion and Patterson prepares to return to government, we’ve taken a look at what he has achieved over the past two years.


The role’s remit

Whilst CTO at the DVLA, Patterson was responsible for choosing which sourcing the model the organisation would use to leave the Partners Achieving Change Together (PACT) contract.

He managed to gain the support from the Department for Transport (DfT) and Cabinet Office to facilitate this new direction.

Patterson also:

  • Created an internal DVLA Senior Management team
  • Assessed the technology landscape
  • Analysed the internal skills available
  • Looked at the training that was needed


The benefits of being in-house

According to a DVLA spokesperson, moving the organisation’s IT in-house enables the acceleration of its technology transformation.

Working with GDS on the exemplar projects, our focus was largely on the front end design, but we are now free to tackle the back end legacy systems and we have a roadmap in place for moving Drivers and Vehicles legacy systems to a Digital Services Platform,” they said.

For over a decade, the DVLA has depended on a third-party IT partner to provide and support all of its IT services. By moving in-house, it hopes to provide better services internally and externally and “give more people the chance to develop their skills and careers”.

The DVLA’s strategy for developing new services concentrates on taking control of its own IT estate by: harnessing the skills of its own staff, collaborating with local universities and supporting the wider government agenda of helping small and medium sized businesses.

We don’t want to, and shouldn’t, stop working with suppliers of all sizes – we can’t do everything ourselves. We are now placed to make better commercial and technology decisions and focus on the work we do to better support, deliver and manage government services,” the spokesperson added.

The DVLA, DfT, GDS, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and the Complex Transactions team have collaborated to ensure that the government strategy was adhered to. The project’s success has been attributed to all of the departments working “as one to a common goal and strategic objective”.

This GOV.UK YouTube video sums up how the DVLA brought its technology in-house:




Are there any risks?

By bringing its IT in-house, the DVLA is now solely responsible for its own IT. Consequently, it now needs to ensure it has the right skills and resources in place to move forward.

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