The Digital Transformation Agency is seeking views from industry to help shape Australia’s next digital transformation strategy ahead of its launch early next year.
The agency released a discussion paper [pdf] late on Friday calling for input from government, business and academia to update the digital strategy released in late 2018.
It comes two weeks after Government Services Minister Stuart Robert revealed the refresh to best position the country to respond to the upheaval brought by Covid.
The strategy also aims to continue the government’s work to date to make Australia one of the top three digital governments in the world by 2025.
“The impacts of the global pandemic, including the reduction of face-to-face services offered by government, have resulted in significant changes to the way users interact with government,” the paper states.
“Recent data highlights user adoption of digital technologies has advanced five years in approximately eight weeks.
“As the nation continues to navigate an uncertain future, the refreshed strategy will seek to build on this level of adoption and digital interaction with users to deliver cost-effective, convenient and secure services for businesses and individuals.”
In keeping with extensive change brought about by the pandemic, the strategy will “seek to inspire and challenge government to drive transformation beyond the confines and limitations of business as usual”.
It will also take cues from existing initiatives like the whole-of-government architecture – which will mandate select platforms and services for all federal government agencies from next year – and sourcing reforms.
“Over the next five years, the government’s focus on reuse of scalable, modular and secure platforms across government will remain a high priority to ensure more effective delivery capabilities and better value for taxpayers’ money,” the paper said.
“The whole-of-government architecture will map the role and services available across government and enable better investment decisions and greater agility in delivering services in response to government priorities.
“A key principle of the whole-of-government architecture is promoting and standardising the ‘buy or build once, reuse many times’ approach.
“Whilst several initiatives across government, including the welfare payment infrastructure transformation (WPIT) program, are focused on sharing capability, traditionally there hasn’t been a consistent government-wide approach.
“Government initiatives aim to address the existing barriers including the requirement for a clear mandate to drive change, funding models that support investment in reuse, standardised legislation, a culture of collaboration and a central point of coordination.”
The paper also reveals the DTA is yet to undertake the urgent digital capability review that the government agreed to in response to David Thodey’s root-and-branch examination of the Australian Public Service last year.
“In early 2021 government will undertake a digital capability review which will measure the digital capability of the APS,” the paper states.
“Digital capability will be measured across five domains, which are policy, people, process, technology and alliances.
“The outcome of the digital capability review will enable government to make informed decisions on where to invest, based on needs, as well as gaps in current capability.
“The refreshed strategy will develop user driven criteria for selecting appropriate data and digital technologies to achieve outcomes.”
Submissions to the consultation paper will close on December 18.