IT worker becomes minister of e-commerce for second time

A former IT and telecommunications worker has been appointed as the minister in charge of e-commerce, the communications and information industries and corporate governance.

Stephen Timms MP has been named the Minister of State for Competitiveness in the ministry that has replaced the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR).

Timms worked for Logica then consultancy Ovum, working in the IT and telecoms business for 15 years before becoming an MP. He managed the reports business of Ovum before his election.

He has previous experience in government responsibility for e-commerce. Between 2002 and 2004 he was responsible for e-commerce at the DTI before being moved to the Treasury, where he was financial secretary to the Treasury, then Minister for Pensions Reform and then Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

He was dropped from the cabinet in Gordon Brown's recent reshuffle, and serves under Secretary of State John Hutton at the DBERR.

As well as taking over responsibility for e-commerce, Timms will be in charge of government policy on corporate governance. This includes oversight of Companies House and of the ongoing implementation of the massive and complicated Companies Act.

According to the DBERR his full list of responsibilities is: "enterprise, growth and business investment, strengthening regional economies, Small Business Service including business support simplification, business sectors (e-commerce, communications and information industries, bioscience, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, construction, automotive, manufacturing, creative industries, retail, steel), corporate governance, Companies Act implementation, Companies House, corporate social responsibility, general oversight of the Shareholder Executive, specifically the Industrial Development Unit."