Ministry of Justice CIO Andy Nelson has been named as the new government CIO.

Nelson will take over from the Joe Harley, the current government CIO who is retiring at the end of March, and will hold the government CIO role alongside his existing position at the Ministry of Justice.

Ian Watmore, permanent secretary to the Cabinet Office – and previously government CIO himself – said in a statement: “It is fantastic to be able to assign the role of government CIO to someone who has held major CIO roles in private sector and has been involved in the ICT strategy since the very beginning.

“Andy has worked closely with Joe over the past months and will continue to do so – ensuring that we continue to deliver ICT services fit for a modern civil service.”

He becomes the fourth government CIO at a challenging time for government IT, and the second after Harley to take it one while CIO of a major department.

One priority will be to keep up momentum on the G-Cloud project which promises to slash IT costs and reduce duplication of IT systems across government. In 2010 Nelson was listed as one of public sector’s best paid IT chiefs. Before joining the Ministry of Justice, Nelson held roles at Royal Sun Alliance and Asda.