Andrew Pinder

Andrew Pinder

Andrew Pinder CBE lead the Office of the e-Envoy from 2000 to 2004, reporting directly to Tony Blair.

Currently he has held the post of Chairman of Becta (a government agency, funded by Department for children, schools and families which oversees the e-strategy for Education and supports information and communications technology (ICT) and e-learning in schools and colleges) since January 2006.

He has held many executive posts in the public and private sector relating to IT.

Early life

Andrew Pinder was born in 1947. He was educated at the University of Liverpool from 1969-1972 [] where he received a BA in Economics and Geography. []


Andrew Pinder's most high profile position was as the e-Envoy between October 2000 and August 2004, when he was responsible directly to the Prime Minister for co-ordinating the development of the knowledge economy in the UK. [cite web|url=|title=Becta's board|publisher=Becta|accessdate=2006-11-20]

He became the temporary e-Envoy when the previous e-Envoy, Alex Allan, resigned in October 2000, and was subsequently chosen for the permanent position in January 2001 over 150 other applicants. [cite news|url=|title=New e-envoy named!|date=31 January 2006|accessdate=2006-11-23]

In this role, he gave a speech at the CBI in November 2001, [cite news|url=|date=4 November 2001|title=CBI seeks to restore credibility|accessdate=2006-11-20|publisher=BBC News] and spoke at a Microsoft-sponsored Government Leaders Conference in Seattle in April 2002, where he famously announced that the government's target of putting all services online by 2005 could cost 800,000 public sector employees their jobs. [cite news|url=|date=14 May 2002|title=E-government could cost 800,000 jobs, says e-envoy|first=John|last=Lettuce|publisher=The Register|accessdate=2006-11-23]

He oversaw the rushed implementation in 2001 of the Government Gateway, a project for putting all the government services on-line, which was built by Microsoft in just 15 weeks and initially locked out all browsers except Microsoft's own Internet Explorer. He defended this by claiming that the limitation applied only to the part "which allows citizens and businesses to enrol for services. [But] once enrolled, they can submit transactions from any operating system, since XML - the language used - is totally platform independent." [cite news|url=,6903,507929,00.html|title=Government Gateway is not a 'Microsoft puppet'|17 June 2001|publisher=The Observer|author=Andrew Pinder]

The deal also involved Microsoft using UK government intellectual property to build products for other governments in order to recoup some of the costs of building the technology. The rate of return was to the tune of 22% of their gross sales of the intellectual property, which Pinder hoped would "give us quite a lot of money". [cite web|url=|title=Public Accounts Committee - Examination of Witnesses(Questions 80-99)|date=12 June 2002] This hope was reiterated by the a minister for the Cabinet Office as late as January 2003. [cite web|url=|date=16 January 2006|author=Douglas Alexander|title=E-services - Westminster Hall Debates|publisher=Hansard|accessdate=2006-11-23]

Pinder appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on 13 May 2002 [] , 12 June 2002 [] and 3 May 2002 [] , where the Edward Leigh MP was "surprised by the woolly answers" [,1000000308,2110300,00.htm]

On concluding the job, he pronounced his work a success. [cite news|url=|title=What a way to run the country|date=2 September 2004|publisher=The Guardian|author=SA Mathiason]

Other positions

* United Utilities, a £2.5 billion turnover water and electical utility company, as non-executive director since 1 September 2001 [cite web|url=|title=Register of Board members' interests|publisher=Becta|date=January 2006|accessdate=2006-11-17] cite web|url=|title=Andrew Pinder CBE|accessdate=2006-11-20|publisher=United Utilities]

* Entrust, a secure messaging and authentication company, as senior Vice President since 30 October 2006, but had been a member of the board of directors since November 2004. Of his promotion, the CEO said: "We were thrilled to have his counsel and expertise on our board of directors, and by joining us he can help lead our global government efforts on projects such as the move to e-passports, national ID cards and securing citizen identities and information." [cite press release|url=
title=Former UK e-Envoy Andrew Pinder Joins Entrust to Lead Government Initiatives|date=30 October 2006|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=Entrust

* [ Spring Group plc] , an IT recruitment and outsourcing company, as non-executive director, in March 2005cite web|url=|title=Management & board of directors|accessdate=2006-11-23]

* Intel Global Advisory Board, as member since January 2006.

* [ Gov3] , an ICT consulting company (focusing on international ICT-enabled public sector reforms) staffed by former members of the Office of the e-Envoy, President since it was founded in 2004 (till mid 2007). [cite web|url=|title= about gov3 > consultants|accessdate=2006-11-23]

Other previously held positions

* Citibank Head of European Operations and Technology, then Head of Global Operations for Citibank’s Global Transactional Services business, between 1995 to 1999.

* Prudential Assurance, Director of Systems and Business Operations from 1990 to 1994.

* A partner in a venture capital firm and carried out a number of management consultancy assignments for the British government.

* Director of information technology at the Office of Inland Revenue. Employed there for 18 years until 1990. [cite press release|url=|title=Vertex appoints Andrew Pinder as Non-Executive Director|date=13 December 2004|accessdate=2006-11-23]


Typically [teachers who run IT] would be people who have a real passion about Open Source — as if open source is any different from any other software — it's just the pricing structure is different, that's all. But they have a passion. It's a religion, it's a real belief, and again they have a belief about bits of technology that are going to change things. What they don't do, however, is organize things properly.

"At a seminar on the future of e-learning in October 2006" [cite web|url=|date=16 October 2006|title=The future of e-Learning|accessdate=2006-11-17]

The demand proved extremely large and world-wide, even contributing to an overload of the Internet services in the London area. By working together, 9 Government sites managed to weather unprecedented demand and served up 200,000 copies of the dossier on the day. Over a million in total were distributed including via media sites. UK online played an important part in this joint effort.

"October 2002 monthly report from Office of the e-Envoy" [cite news|url=|title=E-envoy declares broadband Britain a success, claims credit|date=9 October 2002|first=John|last=Lettuce|publisher=The Register|accessdate=2006-11-23]


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