26 September 2023

DTA short-circuits audit as “no bearing”

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The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has acted to clarify its position following a performance audit by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) which found its procurement of ICT-related services from 2019–20 to 2020–21 ineffective.

In a statement, the Chief Executive of the DTA, Chris Fechner said the audit did not review the DTA’s whole-of-Government digital sourcing responsibilities and, as such, “the ANAO’s findings have no bearing whatsoever on our whole-of-Government agreements, panels, marketplaces and BuyICT platform”.

“Three of the nine procurements examined by the ANAO relate to the Australian Government’s urgent response to the COVID-19 pandemic (myGov upgrade, COVIDSafe app development and COVIDSafe app enhancements),” Mr Fechner said.

“The pace of the Government’s response to the pandemic increased the risks involved in these procurements, particularly where they were undertaken on shortened timeframes or transferred from one entity to another,” he said.

“The DTA has already set to work on addressing all areas identified for improvement in the review.”

Mr Fechner welcomed the performance audit, saying the DTA takes seriously the ANAO’s focus on providing increased transparency over its internal procurement framework and practices.

He said the DTA accepted all identified opportunities for improvement and agreed with each of the eight recommendations made to it in the Auditor-General’s report.

“The combination of these opportunities and work already underway in remediating the recommendations are vital in ensuring continuous improvement of the DTA’s procurement framework and supporting processes,” Mr Fechner said.

The Auditor-General’s 88-page Digital Transformation Agency’s Procurement of ICT-Related Services report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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