DTO changes become official

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DTO changes become official

Reform order reveals what will be included in the switch.

Australia's governor-general Peter Cosgrove has officially signed off on a suite of structural reforms that will see the Digital Transformation Office re-emerge as the much larger Digital Transformation Agency.

Administrative arrangement orders published last night (Finance changes; DTA responsibilities) reveal the final detail of changes that will see a boatload of responsibilities lifted from the Department of Finance and shifted over to its federal government counterparts.

Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, announced the changes at the National Press Club earlier this month, in what he called “phase two” of the government’s digital transformation agenda.

The orders reveal that the responsibilities of the rebadged DTA will include:

  • Full strategic and policy leadership of whole-of-government IT and digital service delivery
  • Full responsibility for IT procurement policy
  • Full responsibility for the design, development and coordination of shared government IT platforms and standards
  • Handling and expenditure of all funding attached to whole-of-government IT platforms
  • The establishment and operation of a central program management office which will “oversee all significant ICT and digital investments” in the federal government
  • Advice to the relevant minister on government IT and digital service delivery
  • Plus any “other relevant tasks as the minister may require from time to time”

The Department of Finance has yet to hint at what the impact of the changes might be to its budget and staffing, with a first assistant secretary and a technology and procurement division currently dedicated to the functions now officially switched to the new DTA.

A spokesperson told iTnews earlier this month “further details will be announced in accordance with normal processes at an appropriate time”.

The DTA will take the reins of a raft of whole-of-government buying schemes set up by Finance to squeeze discounts out of the federal government’s commodity technology buys.

The panels - many of which are mandatory - govern agencies’ buying when it comes to data centre leases, desktop leases, managed WAN and internet connections, Microsoft licences, and mobile voice and data plans.

The digital agency has already assumed an authoritative role over the whole-of-government customer service portal MyGov, although day-to-day management of the authentication service will still be handled by the Department of Human Services.

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