Govt IT procurement changemaker handed cybersecurity portfolio

Govt IT procurement changemaker handed cybersecurity portfolio

Taylor introduced a range of measures aimed at making it easier for smaller IT providers to vie for Government contracts

Angus Taylor - Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation

Angus Taylor - Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation

Angus Taylor, the Federal Government’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, has been named as the country’s new Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity.

The change of title comes amid a major ministerial Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on 19 December.

As the Government’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Taylor has overseen some of the most substantial changes to national public sector IT procurement in the past several years.

Under his watch, the Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) took over the responsibility of managing a host of major IT procurement panels from the Department of Finance, where they had resided for years.

Taylor also unveiled major procurement reforms in August that saw IT contracts capped at $100 million, among other measures, in a bid to give smaller suppliers a leg up when competing for lucrative public sector contracts.

The procurement changes also saw a pledge by the Government to inject an additional $650 million annually into local tech companies that fall into the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) category.

“Government is targeting an increase of 10 per cent of its annual $6.5 billion IT spend to smaller operators,” Taylor said in a statement at the time.

“These are exciting changes that will throw open the door for SMEs and allow government agencies to bring in new and innovative services,” he said.

From the outset, the DTA – which evolved from the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) – has had a focus on opening up access for smaller suppliers to pitch for government projects.

It has been a core focus of Taylor in his capacity as the Minister overseeing the activities of the DTA, which is headed up internally by CEO, Gavin Slater.

Now, Taylor is set to head up the Government’s cybersecurity activities in his new cabinet role, which sees him support Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, in his new capacity leading the Government’s new Home Affairs mega-portfolio.

Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism, Michael Keenan, meanwhile, will join Cabinet as Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation.

Turnbull described Keenan’s new remit as “a central role in ensuring all Australians get the services they expect when dealing with the Government, particularly as more and more services shift online”.

Under the changes, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, Dan Tehan, will become the Minister for Social Services.

At the same time, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos, will not be included in the new Cabinet line-up, following a lengthy leave of absence due to illness.

“Senator Arthur Sinodinos wrote to me this week to tell me his medical treatment is taking longer than anticipated and he is unlikely to be able to return from leave until the middle of next year,” Turnbull said. “In those circumstances, he has asked that he not be included in this new ministry.”

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