DTA creates beta model which simplifies complexity of government

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday July 9, 2020


The Digital Transformation Agency is offering commonwealth agencies a beta version of a model which will simplify the architecture of government platforms, products, and services.

The DTA taskforce charged with creating whole-of-government architecture last week said it has been building a concepts model as part of a broader initiative to reuse cross-government services and platforms.

One aspect of the taskforce’s work has been a framework of architecture concepts — categories of architectural components related to the goal of taking government “from siloed capabilities to a landscape of connected platforms and services”.

The DTA argues that the concepts model gives an “easy-to-understand structure to simplify the complexity of government”.

“It defines core architecture concepts and illustrates them with examples and clarifications, offering a new way of looking at government architecture. It emphasises improving service delivery for users and identifying common capabilities,” it says.

Separated by a line of visibility, concepts above the line relate to the reasons people and organisations engage with government, while concepts below the line relate to the means of government service delivery.

The central concept, government service — the end-to-end means of meeting a user’s needs — sits on the line of visibility, and links to the current and potential ways to develop new platforms and shared capabilities.

One concept sitting below the line is platform, which agencies can reuse in many service delivery contexts. A platform can expose enabling services, which are used by many systems and processes that deliver government services to people and businesses, according to the DTA.

Government architecture concepts. Source: DTA

The agency says the architecture concepts can provide a foundation for the taskforce’s other streams.

“For example, the taskforce is also cataloguing existing platforms. It will list the enabling services each platform provides and map them to the relevant business capability,” it says.

Government agencies can request access to the private beta version of the architecture concepts model via email to [email protected]

The model includes architecture canvas templates, which offer 1-page views of a single government service or business scenario.

A person needing income support is one possible scenario, the DTA says. That person could access a range of products or services, like JobSeeker, Veteran’s Pension, Carer Allowance, or tax offsets.

A scenario canvas displays all possibilities and the key components that enable their delivery, the DTA notes.

“A canvas focused on a government service maps the details of the components to deliver that service. The canvas view gives a clearer insight into what makes a government service work,” it says.

Government services minister Stuart Robert on Tuesday said the initiative to create a whole-of-government architecture was “well under way”.

“It is mapping current capabilities against our needs going forward, with the goal of identifying and investing in the strategic platforms and technologies that can scale across agencies to deliver services consistently and effectively. Buy, build or develop once and use many times,” he said.

Read more: Robert gives update on Services Australia vision, key whole-of-gov initiatives

Robert revealed the DTA has also been working on a whole-of-government “permissions and permits platform”, which would deliver a new visas and permits processing capability.

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