Job Title : London Borough of Newham

Organization : CIO

Richard Steel has been with Newham Borough Council since 1989, undertaking a variety of tech management roles before assuming the CIO role.

Steel has just been elected president of the public sector IT managers association, Socitm, and will spend most of his time this year on secondment there managing an ambitious change programme but will still have control of overall IT strategy at Newham.

Steel isn’t afraid of making tough decisions after ditching Linux trials at Newham to sign a new licensing agreement with Microsoft a few years ago, and under Steel’s leadership Newham achieved the government’s electronic service delivery targets of putting services online almost two years ahead of the 2005 deadline.

One of Steel’s big challenges now – as with his public sector peers – is dealing with ever-tightening IT budgets and the wider efficiency agenda. The council will also be at the centre of much of the regeneration surrounding the London 2012 Olympics.

Coming from the merchant banking world – with a stint as an assistant director of Morgan Grenfell (now Deutsche Bank) – Steel has been working in public sector IT for nearly 20 years.

He’s involved in a number of other groups, including the Public Sector Infrastructure Group, Government Connect Stakeholder Board and the Identity and Passport services local government advisory board.