UK’s Shetler to be Canberra’s new digital chief

Director of UK government digital service Paul Shetler

EXCLUSIVE: Malcolm Turnbull has appointed UK government digital director, tech entrepreneur and social activist Paul Shetler to lead his $250 million digital change program.

The Federal Government has snared a director of the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), Paul Shetler, to lead its $250 million digital change program, appointing the former tech entrepreneur to be the inaugural CEO of the new Digital Transformation Office (DTO).

Shetler comes to Canberra after a year at London’s Ministry of Justice, where he rapidly built a large in-house development, research and design team and fast tracked a prison booking system, now being used by several other agencies. He was appointed director in charge of digitising service delivery at the UK equivalent of the DTO, the GDS, in January this year.

The DTO is an executive agency in the Communications portfolio. Shetler is expected to start in about two weeks. The agency has been initially set up in Canberra, but Shetler is expected to later establish his office in Sydney to take advantage of the strong start-up community around the inner city.

The DTO is very much the brainchild of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has openly said it is modelled on the success of the GDS and its work transforming UK civil service delivery. Turnbull has promised to have all major federal government services online by end of 2017. In the recent budget, he won $254 million over the next four years to build a digital delivery program, including a new digital identity and transactional platform.

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