Ian Watmore

Ian Watmore
Ian Watmore.jpg
Chief Information Officer of the Cabinet Office
In office
Prime MinisterTony Blair
MinisterDouglas Alexander, Alan Milburn, John Hutton
Preceded byAndrew Pinder
Succeeded byJohn Suffolk
Head of Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, 10 Downing Street
In office
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded bySir Michael Barber
Succeeded byRay Shostak
Permanent Secretary of DIUS
In office
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
MinisterJohn Denham
Succeeded bySir Jon Shortridge
COO of the Cabinet Office
In office
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
MinisterFrancis Maude
Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary
In office
1 January 2012 – June 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
MinisterFrancis Maude
Preceded bySir Gus O'Donnell
Succeeded byRichard Heaton
First Civil Service Commissioner
Assumed office
1 October 2016
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded bySir David Normington
Personal details
Ian Charles Watmore

(1958-07-05) 5 July 1958 (age 61)
Croydon, Surrey, England
ChildrenDuncan Watmore
ResidenceWilmslow, Cheshire, England
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Ian Charles Watmore (born 5 July 1958)[1] is a British management consultant and former senior civil servant under three prime ministers, serving from October 2016 as the First Civil Service Commissioner.[2]

Early life and business career

Born in Croydon, Surrey, he was educated at the Trinity School of John Whitgift and then graduated with a degree in mathematics and management studies from Trinity College, Cambridge.[3][4] He trained as an management consultant with Andersen Consulting, and ultimately became Accenture's managing director for the United Kingdom from 2000 to 2004.

This career involved IT and consulting in the private sector, and involved him joining the board of e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for IT, from 2000 until 2006,[5] and serving as the president of the Management Consultants Association from 2003 to 2004.[4]

Government career

Watmore joined the civil service of the United Kingdom as the first Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO), taking over as head of the e-Government Unit, the direct successor to the Office of the e-Envoy in September 2004.[6] Fifteen months later, at the end of 2005, the Cabinet Office announced that Watmore was that next month to succeed his boss Sir Michael Barber, as the second ever head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary.[7][8]

Formally the "Chief Advisor to Prime Minister on Delivery", Watmore appointed John Suffolk, the Director General for IT from the Ministry of Justice, as his replacement GCIO in May, and Andrew Stott as his deputy on the GCTO side.[9] In June 2007, following the reshuffle when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, Watmore was appointed as the inaugural Permanent Secretary of the new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, working for the Secretary of State John Denham.[3]

Eighteen months later, it was announced that Watmore would leave the Civil Service to be the new Chief Executive of The Football Association, succeeding Brian Barwick starting the job in June 2009.[10] He resigned from this post nine months later, on 19 March 2010, and was replaced by Alex Horne, initially in an acting capacity and later as General Secretary.[11]

Three months later, following the General Election, Watmore returned to government as the Chief Operating Officer of the Cabinet Office, heading up the newly formed Efficiency and Reform Group.[12]

Sixteen months after that, on 11 October 2011 it was announced that Watmore would become Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office, replacing Sir (now Lord) Gus O'Donnell, whose three roles were split after his retirement at the end of 2011.[13] However, he only held this role for six months, announcing in May 2012 that he was resigning to spend more time with his family.[14][15] He was replaced by Richard Heaton.

In September 2016, it was announced that Watmore would succeed Sir David Normington as the independent First Civil Service Commissioner regulator of the Civil Service from 1 October 2016. for a non renewable five year term.[2]

Other roles

Watmore was a member of the advisory board of Westminster Business School from 2010 to 2013, and has been a board member of the Information Commissioner's Office since 2012.[4][16] He has been a trustee of the Migraine Trust since 2008, serving as its Chair since 2010.[17] Watmore has been a Church Commissioner since 2014,[4] and his wife is a priest in the Church of England in the Diocese of Chester.[17]

Watmore is a lifelong supporter of Arsenal,[18][19] and has had several sport related appointments. He has been a Board member of the English Institute of Sport since 2002,[4] and in March 2012, he joined the England Rugby 2015 board.[4] He is the non executive chair of Quantum Sports, a professional sportsperson agency which represents his son, Duncan, who is a professional footballer.[20]


  1. ^ "Ian Watmore: The eyes have it, when your job is to know every citizen in Britain". The Independent. 30 October 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b "First Civil Service Commissioner appointment: Ian Watmore". www.gov.uk. HM Government. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Ian Watmore". Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. HM Government. 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "WATMORE, Ian Charles". www.ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who 2015 (online ed.). A & C Black. 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  5. ^ Stevenson, Alexander (2013). The Public Sector: Managing The Unmanageable. ISBN 978-0-7494-6777-7.
  6. ^ SA Mathiason (2 September 2004). "What a way to run the country". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Ian Watmore appointed Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit". Cabinet Office. HM Government. 15 December 2005. Archived from the original on 25 September 2006. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  8. ^ "e-Government head's parting shot". The Register. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Government hires new 'face' of UK IT". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  10. ^ Tyler, By Richard. "Who wants to be Lord Mandelson's Sir Humphrey?". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Football Association: Martin Glenn appointed as chief executive". BBC Sport. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Chief Operating Officer appointed to the Efficiency and Reform Group" (Press release). Cabinet Office. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Cabinet Secretary announces retirement" (Press release). 10 Downing Street. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  14. ^ Ian Watmore to leave the Civil Service – News stories – GOV.UK. Cabinetoffice.gov.uk (16 May 2012). Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  15. ^ Dudman, Jane (16 May 2012). "Ian Watmore resigns as permanent secretary in Cabinet Office". Guardian Professional. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  16. ^ "ACOBA recommendation: Ian Watmore, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office". www.gov.uk. HM Government. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Trustees - The Migraine Trust". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Watmore appointed". The Football Association. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2012. via Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Watmore installed as new FA boss". BBC Sport. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  20. ^ Wheeler, Chris (15 April 2012). "Altrincham's Damian Reeves on track for League return". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 July 2012.

Offices held

Business positions
Preceded by
Mark McRae Otway
Managing Director, Accenture UK
Succeeded by
Lis Astall
Government offices
Preceded by
Andrew Pinder
as Head, Office of the e-Envoy
Government Chief Information Officer
and Head of the E-Government Unit,
Cabinet Office

September 2004–January 2006
Succeeded by
John Suffolk
as Government Chief Information Officer
Succeeded by
Andrew Stott
as Government Chief Technology Officer
Preceded by
Sir Michael Barber
Head, Prime Minister's Delivery Unit,
Number 10

Succeeded by
Ray Shostak
New office Permanent Secretary
at the Department for Innovation,
Universities and Skills

June 2007–2009
Succeeded by
Sir Jon Shortridge
New office Chief Operating Officer
of the Efficiency and Reform Group,
Cabinet Office and HM Treasury

June 2007–2009
Succeeded by
as Permanent Secretary
of the Cabinet Office
Preceded by
Sir Gus O'Donnell
Permanent Secretary
at the Cabinet Office

January–June 2012
Succeeded by
Richard Heaton
Preceded by
Sir David Normington
First Civil Service Commissioner
1 October 2016–present
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brian Barwick
Chief Executive of
The Football Association

June 2009–March 2010
Succeeded by
Alex Horne
as General Secretary

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