Kevin Cunnington, the Director General of the Government Digital Service, is to step down and take on a new role ‘promoting government services around the world’.

His new position will see him take on the role of Director General in the newly created International Government Service (IGS).

The move tasks him with promoting the work of UK Government services, including the digital sector, across the world.

Alison Pritchard, who is currently GDS’s Director for EU Exit and Transformation, will take over as Director General of GDS on an interim basis, while a recruitment exercise takes place to fill the role on a permanent basis.

Cunnington said: “I’m thrilled to be taking up this new role and see it as a fantastic opportunity to build on our achievements at GDS. I’m looking forward to promoting the work of the UK Government and exploring how the UK can provide government-to-government services, including digital, on a global stage.”

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary said: “Kevin is well-qualified to take on his new role as head of IGS. Under his leadership, GDS has matured into an established function, responsible for accelerating digital transformation right across government and the wider public sector. The Civil Service now has more technical capability than ever before, while the UK is consistently ranked among the world’s most digitally enabled governments.Kevin leaves GDS in a strong place, ready for his successor to take digital government to the next level.”

Under Cunnington’s leadership, GDS has helped government realise more than £1 billion of benefits through scrutinising technology spending. Other achievements include the introduction of machine learning and speech recognition technologies to government services, and overseeing a substantial increase in traffic to the GOV.UK website, which now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a week. Since 2016, the UK Government has also consistently ranked in the Top 5 of the UN E-Participation Index and E-Government Development Index.