DTA to move from PM&C to Finance

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DTA to move from PM&C to Finance

Returns to its AGIMO roots.

The Digital Transformation Agency will shift to the Department of Finance a year after it was moved from the Social Services portfolio to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed the machinery of government change late on Wednesday, just hours after swearing in his first ministry.

“The Department of Finance will gain responsibility for data policy, including the Digital Transformation Agency, as well as de-regulation,” he said in a statement.

Administrative orders released on Wednesday night provide additional detail on the changes, with “responsibility for data and digital policy and services” to transfer to Finance from July 1, 2022.

With no separate order specifying ministerial responsibility like last year’s MoG change, it means newly-appointed finance minister Katy Gallagher will take charge of whole-of-government ICT.

Orders also shows the new Department of Industry, Science and Resources will take responsibility for “national policy issues relating to the digital economy” from PM&C.

The DTA was initially established as the Digital Transformation Office in the Department of Communications in 2015.

In the years since, it had spent time in PM&C, Social Services – following the creation of Services Australia in 2019 – and, most recently, P&MC again.

The most recent PM&C move in April 2021 coincided with a significant restructure of the agency, which saw it lose its digital delivery responsibilities to Services Australia and the ATO.

Instead, the DTA took on a new mandate as the government’s digital adviser, focused on strategic planning, investment, contestability, assurance and digital sourcing.

It also assumed responsibility for the ICT investment approval process, previously known as the ICT two pass review process, from Finance, with all proposals now passing through the DTA.

By assuming less of a delivery role, the DTA is now closer to that of the former Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), which was housed within Finance.

The DTA’s shift to Finance also holds the promise of greater clout within government, with Gallagher also the new Minister for the Public Service.

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