DTA budget cut again as tech projects shifted away

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The Digital Transformation Agency has had its budget cut again, with the government slashing $5.8 million from the technology agency’s departmental appropriation as its role continues to shift from delivery to advice.

It follows a $7 million dollar cut last year and comes despite the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) bringing in more full-time staff by converting contractors to APS employees.

Parliament House

Tuesday’s federal budget shows the DTA will have total resourcing of $524.9 million next financial year, significantly less than the $584.8 million estimated for the current financial year. Most of this figure comes from the cash the DTA receives from other agencies for things like whole-of-government contracts.

The DTA’s actual departmental appropriation will also fall, from $76.9 million this financial year to $71.1 million in 2022-23.

The agency’s average staffing level will rise, however, from 240 to 257. This is understood to be driven by the DTA converting some of the contractors it uses into full time staff.

A one-off $5.9 million payment from Prime Minister & Cabinet will see the DTA continue to support the government’s digital economy strategy. This payment includes $1.8 million for the DTA to finalise overdue digital identity legislation.

The increase in staff but decrease in resources comes as the agency transitions from service delivery and project management to instead focus on delivering whole-of-government advice and strategy.

The DTA’s role changed last year when it moved from Services Australia to the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, with the agency losing senior leaders and responsibility for some of the largest government technology programs.

Tuesday’s budget confirmed the following projects are leaving the DTA’s control:

  • Digital Identity (integrated delivery management) from DTA to the Australian Taxation Office and Services Australia (SA)
  • National Map from DTA to Geoscience Australia
  • gov.au from DTA to the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Government Domain Names from DTA to the Department of Finance (Finance)
  • Australian Government Style Manual and Digital Professions from DTA to the Australian Public Service Commission
  • COVIDSafe App from DTA to the Department of Health
  • myGov Enhancements from DTA to Services Australia
  • gov.au from DTA to Services Australia and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The DTA did gain two projects from the Finance department, the ICT Investment Approval Process Requirements and the Whole of Government Major Office Machines Panel.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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