Digital Transformation Agency chief executive Gavin Slater is stepping down from the high-profile job at the end of this month.
Michael Keenan, the Human Services and Digital Transformation Minister, has announced the role will be taken over by Randall Brugeaud, who recently acted in the role in Slater’s absence.
Last July, Brugeaud was promoted to the deputy-level position of chief operating officer at the Australian Bureau of Statistics and was previously the chief information officer of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (now Home Affairs).
Slater is returning to the private sector, according to the minister’s statement, which includes the following quote from the DTA boss: “It has been a privilege and an honour to lead the government’s digital transformation during this period, making information and services for all Australians simple, clear and fast.”
Keenan said Slater had “played a significant role in helping to drive the government’s digital transformation agenda, while also overseeing procurement reform and the delivery of simpler and faster government services” and listed some of the agency’s “key achievements” under the former banking sector executive’s leadership: the digital identity framework and establishment of the DTA’s Digital Investment Management Office.
“On behalf of the Government, I want to thank him for his contributions and wish him well as he returns to the private sector,” said Keenan.
“I am confident that Mr Brugeaud’s knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation, combined with an ability to work effectively across government, make him ideal to lead the DTA as it develops and grows into its next phase.
“I look forward to working with Mr Brugeaud to deliver on the Government’s vision of being one of the top 3 digital governments in the world by 2025.”
Soon after taking the reins, Slater swept a lot of key staff out of the agency and moved to build stronger relationships with other agencies in the Australian Public Service, particularly the Department of Finance.
He took over from Nerida O’Loughlin, a former Department of Communications executive who acted as interim CEO before taking up her current role as chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Inaugural CEO Paul Shetler quit the role in late 2016 following significant changes to the small digital agency’s leadership, which saw O’Loughlin appointed CEO above him.
Soon after leaving the APS, Shetler offered his reflections on that 16-month period, and has since offered sharp critiques such as his call for public servants to stop playing with advanced technology until they can provide basic services like decent call centres.