​Australian government to continue focus on digital delivery in 2017

The federal government's new digital roadmap will see it carry over its digital transformation agenda into the coming year.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian government has tweaked its digital transformation agenda in a new digital roadmap for 2017, which will see the enhancement of services such as myGov, reforms to health and aged care, improvements to its service delivery, and a whole-of-government approach to IT.

According to the government's roadmap, its vision for digital transformation starts with user needs. It explained this will see a layer of user-geared services at the front end, on top of a "highly automated" back office that it said eliminates almost all manual processing and case management, across the whole-of-government.

"All of these layers are underpinned by a strong foundation of well-structured data. This will make it possible to have real-time performance reporting, allowing government to measure and continuously improve services, and enhance regulatory and compliance activities," it said.

"It will be simple and fast to get things done with government, through any channel. Government resources will be deployed with agility and performance better measured."

The roadmap explains that amendments to existing policy and legislation that currently blocks change within the government will underpin the success of its transformation.

In addition to policy reform, the government said that achieving its digital vision will require a "comprehensive digital transformation agenda" that is welcomed and owned by all government agencies and is coordinated and assisted by the newly formed Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). It said it requires a focus from departments on changing the way it interacts with users and provides services to them, and is also aligned with other whole-of-government reform agendas.

Major initiatives the government will be undertaking as part of its new transformation agenda include Single Touch Payroll, My Health Record, Health Payments, Trusted Digital Authentication and Verification, whole-of-government platforms, grants administration, streamlined online business registration service, and a revamped myGov platform.

The first stage of the "new-look" myGov platform will see the addition of the option to use a mobile number to log in, to see a password -- as opposed to asterisks -- when logging in, the ability to unsuspend accounts, and the ability to reclaim email addresses that have previously been locked.

The "new features" come courtesy of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the DTA, which have been working closely on the improvements to myGov, the government said in a statement.

Two months ago, the Australian governor-general signed an executive order to change the name of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to the DTA and set out the functions of the renamed agency.

Speaking in Canberra last month, Nerida O'Loughlin, interim CEO of the DTA, explained the DTA would be initially undertaking a handful of projects, which included the new digital transformation roadmap. O'Loughlin said the roadmap would see her agency work with other agencies across government to develop a high-level vision, principals, and strategies to drive the digital transformation of government.

O'Loughlin also said the roadmap will serve as the high-level strategic direction for everything government is doing in both the ICT and digital spaces.

"It will incorporate strategies such as data, cyber, ICT investment, platforms, and so on," she added. "It will give government, the public service, and the public a cohesive view of digital transformation activities across the commonwealth for the very first time."

The DTO was established early last year to unify government agencies and services online, and was initially tasked primarily with creating a single online myGov portal for dozens of government-related services.

It was overseen by Paul Shetler, who was the office's CEO before moving to the DTA in the capacity of chief digital officer. Shetler handed in his resignation within a month of moving into the role.

Editorial standards