DTA ditches digital ‘transparency’ dashboard


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The federal government has shut down its Performance Dashboard, used to improve digital services and provide transparency to the public, as part of a significant restructuring of its digital agency.

The Performance Dashboard was launched in late 2016 as a way to promote “government transparency and help drive the ongoing improvement of government services”, with departments and agencies voluntarily uploading data on how their digital initiatives rank in terms of the Digital Delivery Standard.

The performance dashboard displayed on different devices.

It is currently overseen by the Digital Transformation Agency, which has seen a major shift in its remit this year after it was moved to the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

A spokesperson for the DTA confirmed that the Performance Dashboard, a 2016 election promise by the then-Turnbull government, will be decommissioned due to these changes.

“The Performance Dashboard has helped promote government transparency and improve services,” the DTA spokesperson told InnovationAus.

“As part of the DTA’s recent transition to our new mandate, the Performance Dashboard website is being decommissioned. Government agencies will continue to be encouraged to measure performance in line with best practice for service delivery.”

Rather than shifting the dashboard to a different location, such as the Department of Finance, it will be shut down entirely.

This is due to a significant restructuring of the DTA, flagged earlier this year, which has seen the agency moved back to Prime Minister & Cabinet, moving away from service delivery and project management to focus on advice and strategy.

Key programs overseen by the DTA, including the rebuild of myGov and digital identity scheme, have been moved to Services Australia, while the APS Digital Profession has been handed to the Australian Public Service Commission.

The Government Design System was also decommissioned by the DTA this month, but has been kept running by a group of designers and developers separate from the government.

Despite launching it nearly five years ago, the DTA struggled to get any agencies to upload data to the Performance Dashboard in a timely and comprehensive way, and also did not garner any ministerial support for the initiatives.

The dashboard involved agencies uploading data on their own digital services against four key metrics: user satisfaction, digital take-up, cost per transaction and completion rate.

But the dashboard only has 11 services listed, with most of these being small beta initiatives rather than prominent government services. This number has also not grown for more than two years, with most of the participating agencies not having provided any new data for years.

The Medicare Newborn Enrolment Dashboard is the only one to have been updated this year, but data on two of the four key metrics is missing.

The myGov dashboard has not been updated since June 2019, and has no information on user satisfaction or cost per transaction, while all data on the Performance Dashboard itself was stripped early last year.

This is despite several states, including Victoria, NSW and Queensland now having their own IT dashboards with hundreds of projects listed, some providing live information on their performance.

The Performance Dashboard was launched by the Turnbull government following the 2016 election as a way to improve transparency around government services, help agencies to make data-driven decisions to make their services better and be more transparent to the public.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

1 Comment
  1. Digital Koolaid 3 months ago
    Reply

    It’s fine that it didn’t work. Remember that DTA “Fail Fast” meme from 2017 ? But failing slowly can work too. Can we have our money back please ? Thanks.

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