Technology-related fields are at the heart of major structural changes made to government structure since Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister.
These changes follow a recent select committee report on the digital economy which concluded, “there needs to be better co-ordination between Government Departments on digital innovations.”
Here’s all you need to know about how the different structures in government will affect the technology industry.
Which departments have been dissolved?
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Department for Energy & Climate Change
What has replaced them?
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
This new department largely combines the functions of the two dissolved ministries. Some responsibilities are now being taken up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The new department’s responsibility include is responsible for: developing a comprehensive industrial strategy, developing reliable, affordable and clean energy sources, maintaining UK’s position as leader in science, research and innovation.
Who is in charge of technology-related departments?
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: Greg Clark
Department for Culture, Media & Sport: Karen Bradley
Where have the deposed ministers gone?
Sajid Javid, previously head of DBIS, is now Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Amber Rudd, previously head of Department for Energy & Climate Change, is now Home Secretary.
John Whittingdale, previously head of Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has left government.
Who are the ministers in the newly-created Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy?
Secretary of State: Greg Clark (previous role – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Minister of State for Universities and Science: Jo Johnson
Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Nick Hurd
Minister of State: Baroness Neville Rolfe
What responsibilities do these ministers have in relation to technology?
Greg Clark, as Secretary of State, oversees the work of the department as a whole.
Jo Johnson has the most technology-specific brief. His responsibilities include:
- Developing STEM skills
- The relationship with Government Office for Science on science in policy
- Innovate UK and innovation partners
- Eight great technologies (Infographics, Big Data, Satellites, Robotics, Synthetic biology, Regenerative medicine, Agri-science, Advanced materials)
- Smart cities
- Outer space programs
What’s happened to the relationship with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)?
In David Cameron’s government, the role of Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy – held by Ed Vaizey – worked under the auspices of the DCMS and the now defunct Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (DBIS).
This role is now called Minister of State for Culture and Digital Policy – held by Matthew Hancock.
Responsibilities include: digital markets and consumer policy, digital engagement and skills, digital strategy, enterprise and technology.
Government website currently states this ministerial role is solely part of DCMS, and is not also part of the new Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
…And the Treasury?
The new Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister) is Simon Kirkby.
His responsibilities include: banking and financial services reform, retail financial services, foreign exchange reserves, and financial crime.
What about cyber security?
The new Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General is Ben Gummer.
He is responsible for: the digital transformation of government and cyber security.
Gummer also oversees the work of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance.