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CEO's review

This is an exciting and challenging time to be involved in digital transformation. Digital disruption is changing the way we live, the way we work and the way we expect to interact with government.

Our role is to lead the transformation of government services to efficiently deliver digital services that are simple, clear and fast. During the past 12 months-the first full year operating as the Digital Transformation Agency-we delivered on many fronts.

Mapping Australia's digital future

In late 2017-18 we commenced the development of a whole‐of‐government Digital Transformation Strategy to achieve the Australian Government’s goal of becoming one of the leading digital governments in the world by 2025. By the end of June we had engaged directly with 30 government agencies, canvassing the views of more than 500 stakeholders, to develop and circulate the alpha (first) draft of the strategy for comment. The strategy aligns with existing strategies including for platforms, cloud and hosting, and digital identity. To further ensure that we are taking a holistic approach to the development of the strategy, we aligned the direction with other whole‐of-government strategies including the Digital Economy Strategy.

This will enable us to take advantage of opportunities as they arise more broadly and position the Australian Government as a globally competitive digital leader. We intend to deliver the strategy before the end of 2018.

This work is supported by the development of a roadmap that outlines the journey for digital transformation over the next two years with a particular focus on service improvements for people and businesses.

Developing platforms to improve digital services

We develop whole-of-government platforms based on user needs. Agencies can use these platforms to transform the way they deliver their services so they are simple, clear and fast.

Under the GovPass program we consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to update the Trusted Digital Identity Framework. This provides the foundations required for consistent, secure and reliable digital identity. We released the framework for two rounds of public consultation during the year and worked with partner agencies to establish the underlying digital infrastructure for piloting the digital identity platform in 2018-19.

We also researched and began trialling prototypes of the Tell Us Once and Notifications platforms. These platforms help people to easily advise government of changes in their personal information and enable government to provide timely notifications to users through channels based on user preferences. The discovery phase of the project uncovered user expectations and pain points around the existing capabilities for these two products delivered through myGov. To increase adoption of the services by agencies and use of the service by end users, we undertook an alpha phase to consider what could be done to improve the service. The private beta phase for the project will begin in 2018-19.1

We continued to improve the myGov user experience including making myGov more accessible. This provides users more options to authenticate using the myGov Access mobile app, and makes it easier for users to regain access to their account without having to contact a service centre. myGov usage has increased, with over 13 million accounts at the end of 2017-18. During 2017-18 we developed the foundational capability to connect more services to my Gov, including the National Redress Scheme.

Providing a strategic view of digital investments

Our Digital Investment Management Office oversees and advises on government investment in ICT and digital services. Our advice assists agencies to set up and deliver their projects in the right way. During 2017-18 we had oversight of 84 projects (68 were active as at 30 June 2018) and provided strategic advice to assist decision‐makers on proposed new investments. We engaged with 20 agencies and continue to monitor costs, benefits, risk and status to inform our advice to government. We improved our data collection and analysis capabilities to provide greater transparency and better advice to government on digital and ICT investments.

Improving government’s digital sourcing

Our sourcing program has been driving improvements in government procurement of digital products and services, while also making it simpler for industry to sell to government. Our aim is to achieve better value for government and major suppliers, provide more opportunities for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and encourage competition and innovation.

To improve procurement practices, we released the ICT Procurement Taskforce report and have been working to implement the 10 recommendations. For example, we co-designed the Digital Sourcing Framework for ICT Procurement, which is underpinned by policies, principles, guidance and tools to help agencies to be more informed buyers of digital products and services.

We also released the ‘Capped Term and Value’ Policy and started developing the Panel and Fair Criteria Policies.

Through the Digital Marketplace, we provided more opportunities for SMEs to compete for Commonwealth, state, territory and local government contracts-with 74 per cent of the 643 new opportunities awarded to SMEs.

We also leveraged the government’s purchasing power to establish new whole-of-government arrangements with IBM, SAP Australia and Concur Holdings. Whole-of-government arrangements are now being worked through with Oracle.

Building capability across the public service

We work with agencies across government to build digital capability. In the past 12 months we trained more than 2000 Australian Public Service employees through various channels, brought in fresh talent by placing 135 new starters into 16 agencies through the Digital Entry Level Programs, and provided coaching and mentoring for 98 women in information technology, through the Women in IT Coaching program and Women in IT Executive Mentoring (WITEM) program.

Through our partnership with the Australian Public Service Commission, we are improving access to digital training. In 2017-18 we developed a skills blueprint, identified 12 learning design standards and piloted training in user research, the first of these standards.

We also supported the exchange of ideas through several communities of practice, workshops and guest speaker pop-ups, and through our engagement with agencies and industry. In addition, we encouraged innovation and tested thinking with projects such as a blockchain trial, which is exploring how we might securely and efficiently deliver government services in new and innovative ways.

Looking ahead

The Digital Transformation Agency has undergone significant transformation in the three years since it was established. Changes include a move to a new portfolio, establishment as an executive agency and an expanded set of accountabilities. The past year in particular has seen rapid changes in priorities, leadership and increasing expectations on what we can deliver.

Throughout this time, staff have adapted and continued to work with enthusiasm and dedication to progress the government’s digital transformation agenda. I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of ‘Team DTA’ for their commitment and support.

Having the opportunity to act in the DTA CEO role for two months, I was pleased to be able to return to the role permanently to shape and deliver on the government’s ambitious digital transformation agenda.

Our path ahead is clear. In the coming year we will focus our resources on the highest priorities-the Digital Transformation Strategy and Roadmap, myGov, Digital Identity, our platform and hosting strategies, transforming ICT procurement, driving innovation, and building capability across government.

Australia is a recognised leader in eGovernment-ranking second in the United Nations eGovernment development index, just behind Denmark.2 We can’t stand idle though. To deliver on our mission, we must constantly review our priorities in the context of our current and future operating environment, and engage and learn from our domestic and international counterparts.

Australia needs to seize the opportunities and adapt to challenges of digital transformation. The Digital Transformation Agency is helping government do this to ensure that the experiences people and businesses have in their interactions with government are simple, clear and fast.

Randall Brugeaud
Chief Executive Officer
Digital Transformation Agency

Footnotes

  1. The service design and delivery process has four stages: discovery (research); alpha (testing hypotheses and building prototypes); beta (trialling prototypes); and live (making platforms available and continually improving).
  2. This index was released soon after the 2017–18 reporting period, in August 2018.