Digital Transformation Office to co-locate in Sydney and Canberra

By Harley Dennett

August 27, 2015

The Digital Transformation Office kicked off its recruitment drive for a range of technologist roles on Thursday with a big announcement: you can remain in Sydney.

Sydney has a large start-up scene that the DTO’s new CEO Paul Shetler wants to tap into for their skills and agile approach — the kind Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to permeate across the Australian Public Service’s service delivery teams.

Around 20 developers and designers, researchers and product managers will be hired at this stage, with titles that reflect a very different kind of public service, including:

  • Ethical Hacker
  • User Researcher
  • Interaction Designer

Their task is to unwind complexity and help agencies deliver services that are simpler and faster for the customer.

Turnbull acknowledged this would require a significant cultural change in the public service:

“Government services don’t face competition in the traditional sense but that doesn’t mean they should be immune from the disruptive technologies that are having an impact right across the economy.

“The DTO needs to adopt an agile, startup-like culture so it’s important that we recruit people with the right mix of skills and attitude to speed up the transformation of government services.”

To tap into the existing community of those people in Sydney, the DTO will be partnering with the University of Technology, Sydney and co-locating a small team at their Dr Chau Chak Wing Building (the crumpled paper bag one).

DTO's new home away from Canberra: the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology, Sydney.
DTO’s new home away from Canberra: the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Shetler wrote on the DTO blog that he’ll need “the best and brightest minds in technology” to join them if they’re to achieve the ambitious goal set by Turnbull.

“We’re looking for people who want to work on stuff that matters. Simpler, clearer, faster, more humane public services.

“If you want to make a real difference and work on some of Australia’s most important services — we want to hear from you.

“We need a wide range of talent, from product managers and developers, technology architects and user researchers, to designers, web ops engineers and digital policy analysts, to name a few.

“If you want to do extraordinary things and make a difference, join us.

Read more at The Mandarin: 19 reasons why your government agency finds it hard to recruit technologists

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Mikael Andersson
Mikael Andersson
6 years ago

On 12th May the Interim DTO CEO, David Hazlehurst, identified work in five key areas (below). The connection between these areas and the actions of the DTO since Paul Shetler took his place as the
tenured CEO is not clear, and becomes less clear with time. These are David’s 5 areas for funding of $254.7 million:

1. The Digital Service – outlines a digital by design approach to government services.

2. The Trusted Digital Identity Framework – outlines a digital by design approach to government services.

3. New and improved services for individuals that will improve the quality of online interactions with government.

4. Businesses will also receive new and improved services, including Tell Us Once for businesses and a new digital mailbox, which will be accessed with a wider range of credentials.

5. The Better Grants Administration initiative will streamline the administration of grants and reduce work for grants applicants.

I am left wondering the obvious things; such as:

· What has this to do with “talented and tenacious product managers, developers, technical architects, user researchers, designers, web ops engineers and delivery managers?

· How will new UTS graduates with no work experience contribute to this?

· Why is a Sydney office needed, but offices elsewhere outside Canberra are not?

· How will the DTO maintain focus on its actual mission?

There is a little too much hyperbole in this sort of statement “We think Australia can be the best in the world at digital government.” Some mission clarity will help a lot I feel.

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