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17 May 2012 | Adam Leach
Head of the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) Ian Watmore has announced that he will leave the Civil Service at the end of next month.
Watmore, who heads up ERG and the Major Projects Authority (MPA) as part of his role as permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office, is leaving government after a number of senior positions to return to his home in the North West and pursue non-executive and charity-based roles, it was announced yesterday.
Commenting on the news, Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, praised Watmore’s work in establishing the ERG. He said: “Ian has played an important role in establishing the Efficiency and Reform Group within the Cabinet Office. This group put in place tough cross-Whitehall controls on property, procurement and ICT in 2010. As a result we have helped deliver billions of pounds in cash savings for the taxpayer.”
CIPS president David Smith, who is also commercial director at the Department for Work and Pensions, said on social networking site Twitter: “Very sorry to hear that Ian Watmore is leaving the Cabinet Office”.
Melanie Dawes, who is currently director general of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, will step in as acting permanent secretary before a full-time replacement is appointed.
Watmore was appointed chief operating officer at ERG in June 2010 and took on the role of permanent secretary in January this year. Previously he was chief executive of the Football Association.
Reflecting on his decision to leave, Watmore, said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time in the Civil Service, which is one of Britain’s best assets. I admire the wonderful people who work in it, and will miss them greatly.”