Senior civil servant Ian Watmore to leave Cabinet Office post

Ian Watmore Mr Watmore said the civil service was one of the UK's "biggest assets".

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One of the UK's most senior civil servants, Ian Watmore, is to leave his post, it has been announced.

Mr Watmore is the top mandarin at the Cabinet Office and head of the unit tasked with cutting waste and making Whitehall more efficient.

He first joined the civil service in 2004 and is leaving next month to pursue non-executive and charity roles n the North West of England.

Ministers said he had helped to deliver billions of pounds in savings.

An accountant by background, Mr Watmore has worked at the top of the civil service under Labour and the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition governments.

Under Labour, he was the senior civil servant at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills before becoming head of Tony Blair's No 10 Delivery Unit.

In 2009 he became chief executive of the Football Association but he returned to the civil service after the general election in 2010.

Since then he has been head of the reform and efficiency group in the Cabinet Office, where he was responsible for streamlining property, procurement and IT procedures and renegotiating government contracts.

He was also in charge of setting up the government's Major Projects Authority, responsible for delivering strategically important infrastructure schemes on time and budget.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said Mr Watmore had assembled a strong team that would "carry forward the crucial agenda" of delivering greater value for money for taxpayers across government.

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