Key changes in the digital agenda MoG public servants need to know

By Harley Dennett

October 14, 2016

Paul Shetler talks to stakeholders. All images: DTO Facebook album.

Finance loses more turf. Turnbull’s star recruit, DTO boss Paul Shetler, is to be moved on. A new agency in PM&C will now own all major government systems. Also, Martin Parkinson will lead a new oversight board.

Big changes are coming to the Malcolm Turnbull’s digital transformation agenda, to be unveiled in a speech to the Australian Information Industries Association at the National Press Club today by Assistant Minister Angus Taylor.

Cabinet has signed off on a more aggressive digital agenda and new oversight of Commonwealth ICT, where expected efficiencies in the $5.6 billion annual spend have yet to materialise.

The Prime Minister’s portfolio, assisted by Taylor, will soon control all digital, ICT and ICT procurement, including those currently in Mathias Cormann’s Finance portfolio.

Line departments will lose sovereignty of wayward projects in order to speed up the delivery of greater user satisfaction and simpler systems.

Staff at the Digital Transformation Office were briefed yesterday afternoon that their agency will be renamed to the Digital Transformation Agency, to reflect its beefed-up new remit. That remit is to accelerate delivery of digital services and provide a more strategic management of the agenda and take digitisation anywhere and everywhere in government.

The PM’s star recruit, current DTO boss Paul Shetler, is slated to take on a new role — he will be moved to a new digital advisory job — chief digital officer — where he can focus on encouraging disruption.

Update: Nerida O’Loughlin has been named as the new chief executive of the DTA.

As foreshadowed in The Mandarin last month, the DTA will house a “high calibre” project management office to manage strategy and powers to reach into any government digital or ICT endeavour and intervene where necessary. This team will also be responsible for DTA’s education function, sharing “tried and true” solutions that work across government.

A new advisory board will be created with public and private expertise, so stakeholders can feed into the agenda. Dr Martin Parkinson, secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, will chair this board and be joined by captains of industry and the public service.

The move comes just days after near-neighbour Singapore created its new government technology agency, GovTech, to accelerate the city-state’s “smart nation” projects and refresh existing e-government services.

Continue reading at The Mandarin: Tom Burton on the digital agenda revamp

More details and analysis will come later on Friday…

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