DTA joins forces with Finance

The Department of Finance is to gain responsibility for data policy, including the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), following a Ministerial reshuffle under the incoming Labor government. The DTA will move from the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) portfolio where it was placed in April 2021.

Under new Minister for Finance, Senator Katy Gallagher, it will continue its stated role as being responsible for strategic and policy leadership on Whole-of-Government and shared information and communications technology (ICT) investments and digital service delivery.

Succeeding the Digital Transformation Office, the DTA was established on 14 October 2016 with the aim of making Australia a global leader in digital government by 2025.

The agency lost many of its areas of responsibility following the move to PM&C in April 2021, including the major national digital identity project, which was hived off to Services Australia and the ATO, and myGov Enhancement which went to Service Australia.

Managing the National Map went to Geoscience Australia, data.gov.au from DTA to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the COVIDSafe app from DTA to the Department of Health

The DTA undertook a Digital Review in 2021 which examined the 20 federal government agencies, accounting for over 80% of government expenditure.

It found areas of relative weakness included:

  • inadequate platforms to support cross-agency collaboration, data and information sharing, and digital and ICT capability delivery.
  • legacy technologies and technical debt-constraining transformation
  • inconsistency of agency practices for collecting, managing, and reporting information about their digital and ICT estates


Announcing the DTA’s 2021-2022 Corporate Plan last August, Peter Alexander, Acting Chief Executive Officer, said, “The repositioning of the DTA within the Prime Minister’s portfolio will provide greater visibility across the policy process, supporting the DTA to lead whole-of-government advice on the prioritisation of digital and ICT-enabled investments, including making recommendations to prioritise between contested proposals.

“Our position within a central agency will accelerate our efforts to identify opportunities for reuse and increased interoperability across government, to …the DTA is responsible for strategic and policy leadership on whole-of-government and shared information and communications technology (ICT) investments and digital service delivery.”