Liam Maxwell to leave government IT for senior Amazon role?

‘The Register’ claims exclusive scoop on major loss to Whitehall tech leadership

Posted 8 August 2018 at 8:46am by

Scrappy IT needs site The Register claimed yesterday that the UK government’s “top tech adviser” since 2016, Liam Maxwell, is to swap public life for the private sector, moving to a “senior public sector procurement role” with Amazon’s Amazon Web Services.

The story cites senior Cabinet Office sources for its leak about the former GDS CTO and current national tech advisor to the government. It notes that neither that part of government nor DCMS confirmed or denied the leak prior to its publication yesterday afternoon.

Maxwell was one of the prime movers behind the ‘cloud-first policy’ in central government, and has been a close observer of many significant Amazon contracts in Whitehall, including to HMRC.

The site also questions if any “government rules aim to stop companies hiring people for their inside knowledge on competitors, and prevent former officials from exploiting access to Whitehall contacts” are in danger of being broken, which are there to “avoid the suspicion that someone’s job is a reward for past favours”.

”As a grade 2 senior civil servant, it is expected that Maxwell would have sought and gained clearance from the body that oversees these rules before moving on to a role in the private sector.”

It also points out that Maxwell’s departure is just the latest in a long line of such departures in the past two years.

AWS is believed to be fastest growing infrastructure services provider in the UK, based on 2017 market data compiled by analysts TechMarketView.