In a move to further push Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s digital agenda, the Australian government has launched Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). It will be primarily responsible to expand government’s digital agenda and look after the improved capabilities of government services.
The Government is investing $254.7 million in the DTA to drive innovation and make it easier for individuals and businesses to access government services. Of the money allocated, $95.4 million will be used to establish the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to ensure that all new and redesigned government services are simpler and easier to use and can be completed from start to finish online.
The DTO was established as an executive agency in July 2015 and its mission is to lead the transformation of government services to deliver a better experience for Australians. Further, the government will be forming a Digital Transformation Advisory Board, which includes private and public sector enterprises, providing practical and strategic advice to the minister’s office.
The DTO aims to put citizens first— it will lead the design, development and enhancement of government services, and better link online, telephone and face-to-face delivery channels. Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation announced the DTA and remarked,
We are more mobile, more connected, and more digitally-reliant than ever before. The government needs to consistently challenge itself, to ensure that world-leading practices are being employed to make Australians’ lives simpler.
Additionally, Taylor has called on IT industry body the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to work with government on delivering the new agency’s services. According to Rob Fitzpatrick CEO at the AIIA, Australians expect the same level of service and digital capability from their government as they receive in their day-to-day lives from the private sector. He said,
We welcome these changes as a step in the right direction towards improving our government’s digital capabilities which should ultimately drive efficiencies between departments, save costs, deliver better services, and save our time.
Paul Shetler, who is currently CEO of the Digital Transformation Office, will take on a new role as Chief Digital Officer at DTA. Meanwhile, Nerida O’Loughlin – Deputy Secretary Content, Arts and Strategy at the Department of Communications and the Arts – will be the interim CEO of the new agency.
The DTO and all initiatives under it came about because of the need to perform better in the delivery of digital services and information and current, poor interaction with users which erodes public trust in Governments. Furthermore, users often have little choice when accessing government services as there is often no competition, the government therefore, has an ethical obligation to deliver the best quality services in the quickest time.