Digital Transformation Agency chief digital officer Paul Shetler resigns

Paul Shetler has resigned from the position of chief digital officer for the Australian Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) after just over a month in the position.

Shetler was the inaugural CEO of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), from which the DTA spun off in November, before being appointed as the DTA’s chief digital officer.

Interim chief executive officer Nerida O’Loughlin said Shetler had played an instrumental role in establishing the government’s agenda to transform its digital presence and service delivery.

“His creativity and vision have been a great inspiration, and have been crucial in helping the government to deliver the first phase of its digital transformation agenda,” O’Loughlin said. “This has included the delivery of six transformed ‘exemplar’ services and the establishment of the highly successful Digital Marketplace.”

O’Loughlin added that the agency expects to fill the vacant chief digital officer role in the new year.

The DTA was formed to push Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s digital agenda and IT policy and procurement operations.

“We are more mobile, more connected, and more digitally reliant than ever before. Government needs to consistently challenge itself, to ensure world-leading practices are being employed to make Australians’ lives simpler,” Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said when announcing the DTA.

Then-Communications Minister Turnbull created its parent department, the DTO, early last year to unify government agencies and services online. It was initially tasked with creating a single online myGov portal for dozens of government-related services.

Labour MP Ed Husic later on Wednesday raised concerns over the high turnover of senior figures in the Turnbull government’s “much hyped” digital unit.

“Mr Shelter was clearly restructured out of his chief executive role when the government revealed last month its supposedly ground-breaking move to re-name the Digital Transformation Office the Digital Transformation Agency,” he said.

“While questions have been asked about the speed at which the DTO (now DTA) has delivered results, we have certainly seen its agile revolving door work its way through senior managers.

Husic said it was concerning that five different senior managers had departed in quick succession.

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