Picture of Martha Lane Fox

Introducing the Digital Advisory Board

Today, the Digital Advisory Board was announced by Francis Maude. Martha Lane Fox explains the Boards remit and introduces the other members of the Board.

It’s been an exciting week for me so far. My rollercoaster role as UK Digital Champion will now see me Chair two new boards. The Digital Advisory Board announced by Francis Maude today will challenge the Government to deliver better services for users and is the next step on the journey to achieving Digital by Default services and information provision across government. I will also Chair the Go ON UK Board – a radical new cross-sector partnership bringing the benefits of the internet to every individual, organisation and community across the UK.

I am very pleased that the Digital Advisory Board has such a wide range of participants from across the retail, digital and academic sector and many of them bear the scars of delivering successful services on a very large scale. This experience is going to be invaluable for our colleagues in government.

We hope to meet on a formal basis at least twice a year, but will also be taking part in ad-hoc events and bilateral pieces of work with Government as required. Whether that’s sharing our experiences with Ministers or giving our advice and feedback on Departmental Digital Strategies.

We will have a relentless focus on making sure that the user experience of Government is of the highest quality possible as well as sharing our experience and knowledge of developing and maintaining digital provision.

Government Digital Service is leading and delivering a significant digital change programme across Government and GDS recognises that it needs support and challenge from external experts in the digital field to help with this challenging agenda. I think we are privileged to have so many of these external experts represented on the Digital Advisory Board.

Membership of the Digital Advisory Board is as follows:

Baroness Martha Lane Fox CBE
Richard Allan (Facebook)
Alex Balfour (LOCOG)
James Bilefield (Conde Naste International)
Tim Brooks (The Knowledge Engineers)
Brent Hoberman (PROfounders Capital)
Tim Jackson (Lean Investments LP)
Ashley Machin (Lloyds Banking Group)
Professor Helen Margetts (Oxford Internet Institute)
Brian McBride (ASOS)
Doug McCallum (eBay)
Kevin McQuillan (British Airways)
Kip Meek (Everything Everywhere)
Will Perrin (Talk About Local)
Sue Unerman (MediaCom)
Laura Wade-Gery (Marks & Spencer)
Trevor Mather (Trader Media Group)


  1. Martha, could we meet to talk about Facewatch which is providing a vital and innovative link online between business, the public and the police to help fight low level crime? I have lots of ideas about using it to help engage the public further, following the launch of our facewatchid app recently which enables the public to help police with identifying images using postcode proximity to make it more focused and help eat into the massive image backlog they have built up since the riots.

  2. The members of the board all seem well-qualified but shouldn’t thre also be at least obe representative of the ordinary consumers of government digital services – just one would be an improvement!

  3. @Martha – tell me, something, can us autistic kids teach you all a thing or two. What about Autism with Attitude. So please be fair, don’t laugh or hide, we know best, so now decide. If you need to change the world, just do not put it on hold. I was wondering ‘Has anyone seen my Magic Hawk’ – John Kelliher. Maths eBooks with style. UK and Ireland Digital Champion,

  4. “many of them bear the scars of delivering successful services on a very large scale. This experience is going to be invaluable for our colleagues in government.”

    Don’t agree – more of the same. Most large private organisations, including those represented by several of the names here, are as bad as the public sector at rapid transformation through modern technology.

    Where are recent startup founders, disruptors, bootstrappers, and how can there be no one in their 20s on this board?!

    What’s the FOI procedure to discover the appointment procedure for the board?

    1. Hi Jim. Apologies for the late reply to your question.

      Founding members of the Digital Advisory Board were chosen by the UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, and the Head of GDS, Mike Bracken. They were approved by the Minister for the Cabinet Office. The list of members is constantly under review and, as we develop the group, we are keen to add more people from successful UK-based digital start-ups. New members can be brought in at any time to fill identified gaps in skills and experience. Suggestions for new members are always welcomed.

      If you wish to submit an FOI query, the process is as follows:

      To make a request under the Freedom of Information act please write or email
      FOI Team
      Cabinet Office
      Room 120
      70 Whitehall
      London SW1A 2AS
      Email: foiteam@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
      Including your name, an address where you can be contacted and a description of the information that you want.

      Once again, apologies for the late reply.

  5. Sorry for my original,mis-spelled and ungrammatical contribution but the plea remains – why can’t we have a representative of the “ordinary user” on this board? Full marks for the work so far but this inclusion would ensure the true voice of the consumer was at least represented.

  6. Good luck to the Digital Advisory Board, and lets not flood it with reps of all kinds and shapes – it needs to be a thought leader and challenging, we do not want more ‘committee mentality’, we need catalysts that prompt better ways and means of delivery. The key is that those on the board understand the challenges and issues that exist, and so it is incumbent on them to ensure they are informed as they respond and advise on the way ahead. I welcome this development and am ready to support it in any way necessary.

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