DTA remains under Stuart Robert’s watch despite move into PM&C

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday April 19, 2021

Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert at the National Press Club. Services Australia is opening in Adeliade
Acting education minister Stuart Robert (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Responsibility for the Digital Transformation Agency has been transferred from the Department of Social Services to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet under machinery of government changes approved by governor-general David Hurley this past Thursday.

Under the Administrative Arrangements Order amendments, responsibility for whole-of-government information and communications technology (ICT), and ICT procurement policy and services, have been shifted to PM&C.

Under further changes approved by Hurley, former government services minister Stuart Robert will continue to hold responsibility for the DTA, despite his recent appointment as minister for employment, workforce, skills, small and family business.

The DTA’s functions have also been updated so that, from July 1, they include:

  • Provide strategic and policy leadership on whole-of-government and shared ICT investments and digital service delivery;
  • Develop, deliver and monitor whole of government strategies, policies and standards for digital and ICT investments, including ICT procurement;
  • Manage strategic coordination and oversight functions for digital and ICT investments across the project life cycle, including providing advice on whole of government reuse opportunities;
  • Manage whole of government digital procurement to simplify processes for government agencies, reduce costs and generate reuse opportunities;
  • Provide advice to the minister on whole-of-government and shared digital and ICT investment proposals;
  • Undertake other relevant tasks as the minister may require from time to time.

READ MORE: DTA to deliver government business architecture and Platforms Marketplace

Robert took on his new portfolio during a cabinet reshuffle last month, which saw former defence minister Linda Reynolds take on the government services portfolio.

The DTA was established by then prime minister Tony Abbott and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2015. At the time, they said the then-named Digital Transformation Office would “operate more like a start-up”, with the aim of making services “simpler, clearer and faster for Australian families and businesses”.

It was renamed and shifted into PM&C during Turnbull’s prime ministership, before moving into the social services portfolio.

The recent Administrative Arrangements Order amendments have also transferred small business functions and responsibility for the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to the Department of the Treasury.

READ MORE: DTA embarks on whole-of-government architecture plan to enable APS reform and streamline services


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