Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, has been appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Implementation or the ‘GDS Minister’
Hart has served on multiple committees before being shuffled into this ministerial role by changes made in the Johnson Cabinet. He is an individual who has served in a mixture of committees, from Welsh Affairs to Digital, Culture Media and Sport, with a recent focus on Environment and a former stint in a pro-hunting Committee.
Hart’s parliamentary voting record includes an inclination to go against increasing local government funding, against a fully elected House of Lords, voted in favour of the “Bedroom Tax”, stricter asylum laws and a reduction in Benefits.
Simon Hart follows on from Oliver Dowden MP in this Ministerial role.
One of Dowden’s final acts in this role was to issue a new call for evidence, on the role of government and the private sector in the development of digital identities. This ongoing evidence call focuses on how to achieve higher levels of trust, in a time where 189,000 incidents of identity theft have been reported in the UK just in 2018.
Dowden is now the Paymaster General, in addition to being Minister for the Cabinet Office since 24 July. His new job will mean he has oversight say on all Cabinet Office policies, whilst supporting the PM on implementation of Government policy, oversight on cross-government work with veterans and similar powers in the Cabinet Office Equalities Hub.
The duties he will be involved in include but are not limited to Civil Service HR, Government Security, Fraud, the GDS and the Geospatial Commission. His role as GDS minister will be increasingly relevant, as the Government seeks to integrate digital transformations across the public and private sectors – including the way the NHS is run, and internal systems for local government.
Alison Pritchard was appointed as interim director-general at the GDS in early August, which leads some to query why this appointment took so much longer after the initial cabinet shuffle of all government departments.
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