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Priority 3: Deliver a program of digital and ICT capability improvement, including sourcing, to enhance capability and skills across the APS.

Priority 3: Success measure/performance criteria

Improve the digital capability of the APS to accelerate the Government’s transformation agenda.

Improve the sourcing experience for the sellers and buyers of Government digital products and services.

Source: Identical Corporate Plan 2019–23 success measure and Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20 performance criteria.

Target for 2019–20

Deliver programs and resources that increase the digital and ICT capability of Commonwealth entities and their staff.

Result: Achieved

Digital Service Standard
  • We provided training to agencies seeking to increase staff awareness and understanding of the Digital Service Standard and the service design and delivery process. These sessions are open to the APS and are well attended by a cross section of departments and agencies.
Life events
  • We collaborated with agencies and states/territories on life events – Having a baby, Looking for work and Transitioning to retirement – to uplift capability in the life event approach in general (see more details in Priority 1).
  • We shared research, learnings and tools with colleagues across government through the Life Event Communities and held workshops and 101 training on the life event approach.
  • For example, in February 2020, 11 life event practitioners from Australia and New Zealand gathered for a life event mapping workshop hosted by the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. They shared insights on the stages of life event work, current projects and key challenges.
Style Manual
  • In November 2019 we released the updated digital edition of the Style Manual in private Beta for user feedback.
  • The Style Manual is the standard for Australian Government writing and editing. A trusted source of guidance since 1966, the sixth and most recent edition was published in 2002. It needed significant updating, particularly for digital services and information.
  • We are taking a digital-first approach to updating the rules and guidance, working with provider Ethos CRS. The digital Style Manual includes new content on accessibility, inclusive language and content formats.
  • We will release the new digital Style Manual to public Beta in July 2020.
Emerging talent program
  • We continued to increase APS digital capability through the Emerging talent program that attracts new talent into government including apprentices, cadets and graduates.
  • A total of 96 participants were recruited to roles across 12 agencies for 2020.
  • Recruitment for 2021 is underway. Due to the impact of COVID‑19, this has moved to a completely digital model. This has involved conducting 226 online interviews and facilitating 10-minute video conversations between 56 high performing graduates and 12 agencies to identify the best matches.
Digital Summit and Awards
  • This event in October 2019 attracted 735 participants and featured 35 exhibition booths. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with industry participants commenting on how valuable it was to better understand government priorities, and government participants appreciating the opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn their challenges and experiences.
  • The sold-out Australian Government Digital Awards showcased digital transformation products and services. More than 100 nominations resulted in 48 finalists across 7 awards.
Career pathways
  • We have mapped around 150 digital careers through workshops and devised a framework to continue mapping careers across sectors. A functional prototype of the digital career pathways tool was available for Beta testing by the end of June. We made data available on data.gov.au to help people determine potential career pathways and identify skills gaps in digital disciplines in the APS.
Capability Accelerator Program
  • We developed this program through a pilot co-designed with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The program uses an internationally recognised capability model to understand and assess capability gaps within a workforce and combines coaching and change architecture to deliver sustainable capability development. The program was delivered iteratively while applying it to the department’s specific capability uplift challenge.
Digital Professional Stream Strategy
  • The 2019 APS Review encouraged the development of a profession that ‘prioritises development and retention of core in-house capabilities’. The Government’s response was to establish a professions model. The 3 professional streams identified were Human Resources, Digital and Data, with an aim of uplifting critical capabilities required to deliver services for the people and businesses of Australia.
  • We did user research through interviews and workshops with more than 100 people across Commonwealth agencies, state and territory governments, industry, academia and professional associations to develop the Digital Professional Stream Strategy.
  • The strategy covers 6 themes: establish the digital profession; leadership of the profession; professional standards; career pathways; capability and professional communities. It also identifies initiatives, objectives and alignment with the Australian Public Service Commission Professions Model Goal, with short, intermediate and long-term outcomes included.
  • The strategy will be implemented through a co-design process with the 547 foundation members of the Digital Professional Stream.
Women in IT Executive Mentoring Program
  • This program involved 28 pairs of mentors and mentees this year. Due to COVID‑19, we held the first virtual launch of the program this year.
Digital Squads
  • We bring together multidisciplinary teams of DTA-based specialists who provide short-term, rapid targeted support to help deliver key government priorities. Our Digital Squads work in partnership with agencies to better understand their needs and assess what capability and approach will best support the agency to deliver the required results.
  • An example of this approach in action is the support provided to the Department of Health to implement the COVIDSafe Health Portal, which is the backend of the COVIDSafe app used by health professionals.
co-Lab innovation hubs
  • Our co-Labs enable government teams to come together in an immersive environment to work on ideas, build digital skills and improve service design and delivery.
  • This year co-Labs ran or contributed to 13 events on topics such as user research, creating great product team cultures for better outcomes, and content design. Co-Labs also undertook 58 engagements with 41 different agencies ranging from providing advice to connecting to other DTA services.
Azure Technical Academy
  • We worked with Microsoft to establish the Azure Technical Academy, a program for facilitated Azure cloud training for APS staff in technical ICT roles. The training can be done while remote working.
  • The aim is to support the Government’s cloud uptake and build digital skills in the APS through technical training in cloud technology.
  • At 30 June 2020, some 350 staff from 35 agencies had benefited from the fully funded Azure Technical Academy course, which includes a pathway for receiving Microsoft certification. There were also more than 150 registrations for 2020–21.
  • In addition to the funded courses, some 750 government staff attended free Azure foundations training that was promoted through the Azure Technical Academy

Targets for 2019–20

Provide greater value for money when buying government digital products and services.

Result: Achieved

DTA panels
  • In the last 12 months we continued to transform DTA digital and ICT panels. Barriers to entry have been largely eliminated, sourcing flexibility enhanced, processes streamlined and simplified, and purchasing practices standardised across the panels.
  • The number of companies selling hardware, software, and services to government agencies through the panels increased significantly over the past year, with more than 2,500 sellers now onboarded through the Digital Marketplace, Hardware Marketplace, Software Marketplace and Cloud Services panels.
  • We are continuing to expand the use of these arrangements to drive further value for participating agencies and greater access to SME sellers. For example, at 30 June 2020, the Digital Marketplace had awarded more than $1.5 billion worth of contracts to sellers, with 70% of this value going to SMEs.
  • As per our commitment to regularly re-open the panels, we refreshed the Hardware Marketplace panel, giving industry the opportunity to re-apply for admission to Enterprise Storage, Data Cabling and Network Equipment categories. Existing suppliers also had the opportunity to expand their offerings to agencies through regular quarterly updates.
Approaches to market
  • We conducted an Approach to Market to establish the Telecommunications Marketplace with an expanded scope, enabling agencies to source a full range of telecommunications services and products more efficiently. Once established, the Telecommunications Marketplace will replace the offerings under the current Telecommunications Services Panel and Mobile Panel. This will enable entities to source all telecommunication needs under a single arrangement, and industry to offer a wider range of services under one contractual framework.
  • We approached the market to establish a new Cloud Marketplace panel to replace the current Could Services panel. The new arrangement will be operational by early 2021, catering to sellers offering any functionality as a cloud service (referred to as ‘XaaS’) and to sellers of cloud computing based professional services. As part of this approach to market, we also trialled the use of a new online digital tendering platform for the submission of tender responses. The platform is designed to allow secure online access from anywhere, for tenderers to develop and submit their responses digitally.
Digital Sourcing Network
  • The Digital Sourcing Network provides opportunities for sourcing practitioners to get information, make connections, and discover new tools and resources. We continued to run events, common interest groups and working groups to help build sourcing capability across the APS.
  • At 30 June 2020, more than 600 buyers and sellers had been involved in one of our events, opportunities or feedback sessions.
Digital Sourcing Contract Limits and Reviews Policy
  • We reviewed the former ICT Contract Capped Term and Review Policy and released the updated Digital Sourcing Contract Limits and Reviews Policy, which came into effect on 1 February 2020. This delivered on our commitment to regular reviews of our policies under Recommendation 10 of the ICT Procurement Taskforce Report (2017).
Rimini Street whole-of-government agreement
  • We established a whole-of-government volume sourcing agreement with Rimini Street. This agreement makes it easier and more cost effective for agencies to access third-party software support for major software products.
IBM whole-of-government agreement
  • The IBM whole-of-government agreement continued to provide value to agencies through improved commercial discounts, standardised conditions, and value-add mechanisms such as the IBM Aggregate Capped Program (ACP). This program allows agencies to access software to meet expanding operational requirements from a common pool managed by the DTA, at no cost to those agencies.
  • In 2019–20, agencies accessing the ACP avoided costs of close to $2.9 million.