Nerida O'Loughlin takes reins of Digital Transformation Agency

By Harley Dennett

October 14, 2016

The Communications deputy secretary has been tipped for many government chief executive roles this year. Now she will have her chance to lead one of the government’s major structural shifts.

Nerida O’Loughlin has been tipped for many government chief executive roles this year.

First she was touted as a potential secretary for the Communications Department, where she is currently a deputy secretary, when the previous secretary, Drew Clarke was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office as chief of staff. She was shortlisted as possible replacement for Education secretary Lisa Paul. More recently there was speculation she would fill the vacant chair of ACMA. Now she will have her chance to lead one of the government’s major structural shifts.

On Friday, during a speech to the Australian Information Industry Association, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor named O’Loughlin as interim head of the revamped agency that will oversee all policy, governance and project co-ordination of digital, ICT and ICT procurement across the Commonwealth.

O’Loughlin recently over saw the review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. She previously worked at the Authority in a variety of executive roles, including the agency’s cyber safety programs.  She is well respected as a trusted steady hand who knows the Canberra system well and who can get things done. She took over and completed the delivery of the multi-billion digital television switch-over program, one of the biggest single technology transformation programs of the last decade.

The Digital Transformation Agency will encompass the now-erstwhile Digital Transformation Office, ICT procurement from the Department of Finance, a new whole-of-government Project Management Office, policy advice (which is currently disparate across portfolios) and executive oversight via an advisory board of luminaries that will include no less than the secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson.

The government is not keen to invite comparisons, but the new role will in effect be a replacement for Paul Shetler, current CEO of the DTO. O’Loughlin is a fixer, while Shetler is a disrupter. You couldn’t find a replacement less like Shetler if you tried.

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

About the author
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The essential resource for effective
public sector professionals