4. Strengthen digital leadership, governance and accountabilities

Strong leadership and governance are at the heart of any successful transformation.

Digital leaders create the right environment and culture for successful collaboration, innovation, and execution. Clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities need to be defined and agreed to avoid stifling decision making through too much ‘red tape’ while ensuring Digital Platforms conform to the overarching vision and strategy.

How we will achieve this

Balance strong oversight with platform independence

Globally, different approaches have been used to deliver Whole-of-Government platforms. The key lesson from leading global examples is the need for central leadership with strong collaborative efforts across departments and agencies. The DTA will provide leadership in co-developing outcomes and governance structures with relevant departments and agencies to appropriately set accountability that promotes high levels of collaboration.  

This approach strikes a middle ground between highly centralised and highly decentralised models where the strategic direction is set centrally, but departments and agencies work with each other and the market to deliver Digital Platforms.  

The level of governance, oversight and reporting must be proportionate to the risks, benefits and spend of each digital platform to ensure that governance is an enabler rather than a hindrance.

Clearly define accountabilities

For Digital Platforms to operate effectively and deliver value, there are multiple functions that need to be organised to work together. This can be done by designing an effective organisation model and clarifying the various functions.

Establishing a decision making framework with clear accountabilities and responsibilities across key decision making areas supports platform autonomy, transparency and efficiency. It is also imperative that there is a strong balance between oversight and control in order to enable agility. Governance of digital platforms consists of three tiers – strategic, platform portfolio and platforms, each with distinct decision rights.

The DTA will help establish specific charters and processes for the recommended governance forums as outlined below. Strategic leadership and oversight will be provided by the Digital Leadership Group. The Whole-of-Government Investment and portfolio oversight forum reviews and recommends investment priorities. The service design and architecture forum will provide oversight on interoperability across digital platforms. 


The governance model has 3 layers - platforms at the bottom, platforms portfolio above it and strategy and vision at the top. Platform steering committees are in the platforms layer and can either report to platform stewardship groups or directly to the service design and architecture forum. Platform stewardship groups report to either the whole-of-government investment and portfolio oversight forum or the service design and architecture forum. The digital leadership group is the top level that gets reported to.

Figure 7 Digital platforms governance model

Platforms Stewardship groups may be established over time as related digital platforms emerge, potentially formed around Life Events. These groups govern end-to-end policy and service delivery outcomes.

Define measures to determine the success of the strategy

It is necessary to identify a set of key performance measures at a Whole-of-Government level linked to strategic goals to determine the success of Digital Platforms.

Digital platforms should define a balanced set of performance measures which span a number of categories including:

  • strategic measures that demonstrate progress against strategic goals, for example, percentage of transactions completed using digital platforms compared to non-digital alternatives
  • project performance measures that relate to the implementation of digital initiatives, for example, percentage of user stories completed
  • user experience measures that address how satisfied a user is with a digital platform, for example, user satisfaction and engagement scores over time
  • financial measures that are related to the costs and benefits of running a digital platform, for example, the cost per transaction for a platform
  • operational measures relating to the general operation of digital platforms, for example, system availability of the platform
  • data and security measures that provide visibility of security and data controls, for example, effectiveness of access controls and number of cyber security incidents detected

The DTA will provide guidance for digital platforms on setting performance objectives and measures that align with strategic goals.

How we will operationalise this

Our Digital Platforms Operating Model consists of the following components that provide further details on how we will strengthen our digital leadership, governance and accountabilities:

  • organisation
  • governance
  • performance