Bank executive takes over as new chief of the Digital Transformation Agency

By Stephen Easton

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Gavin Slater with Nerida O’Loughlin and then Digital Transformation Minister Angus Taylor

Gavin Slater, former NAB executive, will be the new chief executive of the Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency.

Slater (pictured centre) was head of the National Australia Bank’s personal banking group until mid last year, where he was responsible for all NAB customer facing voice and digital platforms.

Staff at the DTA were informed Wednesday morning shortly before the announcement from the Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor.

In a statement Taylor said Slater had a proven track record in driving transformation change to respond to digital disruption, and his experience would be invaluable as the DTA advances whole-of-government improvements in digital delivery, a review of all major IT projects across government, as well as significant changes in the way we procure ICT services.

Slater added: “Making services simpler, faster and easier to use has been at the core of my leadership impact over many years. In support of the Prime Minister’s vision, I look forward to bringing my skills, experience and passion to the public sector as it looks to improve services to benefit all Australians.”

‘Look at the banks’

Interim-CEO Nerida O’Loughlin confirmed the big four banks are the government’s main digital transformation role models, during an address to the Australian Information Industry Association in Canberra on Wednesday morning.

“Increasingly there’s an expectation by users that government will deliver the same level of service as the private sector,” said O’Loughlin, repeating a point regularly made in discussions of government’s own digital journey.

“And we really need to have a look at banks to see how that’s being translated. According to Roy Morgan research, up until January this year, satisfaction levels of the big four banks’ customers was at over 80%, which is near record levels.

“And over the years, those banks have increasingly shifted services online and demonstrated that well designed online services present an attractive alternative for many of their customers.”

She said government did have success stories of its own, but then cited myTax in 2014, a project that demonstrates that what is seen as a great success inside government is often still seen as a big failure by a lot of the public.

The DTA recently picked up a raft of previously Finance-portfolio ICT procurement oversight responsibilities, with a total spend in the order of $6 billion annually.

Slater will assume the CEO role from May 1, taking over from O’Loughlin who was on loan from her role as deputy secretary at the Department of Communications and the Arts.

More to come…

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