As head of Digital Engagement for the government, Andrew Stott was responsible for the much-discussed Twitter rules and other suggestions about how government departments should use social media and still abide by civil service rules. After a busy start however, Stott had a fairly low profile and yesterday announced his retirement from the post – suitably via twitter account @dirdigeng.
Interestingly, the very department responsible for Digital Engagement hasn’t updated it’s own Digital Engagement Blog since the General Election was called on 6 April 2010, so maybe that explains why Stott’s own engagement is up. Despite the retirement announcement tweet suggesting there is to be “no change in drive for transparency, engagement & data.gov.uk”, the handful of tweets – mainly re-tweets from the official Director of Digital Engagement Twitter account this summer alongside the new government’s cost-cutting measures to governmental websites, do seem to suggest the world is very different since Stott’s appointment in May 2009.
Stott will leave the six figure salary role in December and Katie Davis has been announced as his replacement, so the post is at least to remain. Davies herself has not long returned to the Cabinet Office having previously held he role of Director of the Government IT Profession and more recently spending three years as Executive Director of Strategy for the Identity and Passport Service (www.ips.gov.uk). Whether that qualifies her to oversee the ever-growing complexities of social media uses of those in Whitehall is yet to be seen.
Do you think there is a need for such a highly paid governmental role?