Digital Transformation

5 min

A Comprehensive Review of the Australian Parliament Digital Strategy 2019-2022

Parliament of Australia

Published on December, 2022

Strategic Partners



  1. Introduction and Contextualisation


The Australian Parliament Digital Strategy 2019-2022 is a comprehensive document that serves as a roadmap to guide the future delivery of digital services for the Australian Parliament. It is predicated on the idea of building on the preceding Parliament of Australia ICT Strategic Plan 2013–18 and the objectives defined in the Strategic Plan for Parliamentary Administration. The intent is to create a resilient, adaptable, and user-centred digital environment that aligns with the administrative needs of the Parliament, and meets the expectations of both internal and external stakeholders.


  1. Vision, Purpose and Strategic Planning


Central to the Digital Strategy is the vision to seamlessly and instantly connect people, data, and information via any device, anywhere and anytime, in order to establish an open, secure, and accessible Parliament. This vision stands as a testament to the Parliament’s commitment to fostering a democratic space that utilises digital technology to enhance transparency, efficiency, and accessibility. The strategy outlines its purpose to guide digital decision-making, align ICT directions with business needs, and establish a shared understanding of the digital direction and priorities. In implementing this vision, the strategy envisions specific roadmaps that will dovetail with annual budget planning and prioritisation processes.


III. Core Principles Guiding Digital Services


The strategy is underpinned by a set of core principles that emphasise user-centricity, speed of delivery, interoperability, embedded security, accessibility, inclusion, and partnership. These principles serve as the philosophical foundation guiding the creation and deployment of digital solutions. They are intended to shape an ICT environment that is responsive to the needs of the Parliament’s clients, ensuring a seamless experience in accessing and using data across a range of systems.


  1. Embracing and Responding to Technological Evolution


The strategy exhibits an astute understanding of the rapid pace of technological evolution. It acknowledges that the traditional secure internal ICT services need to be complemented with access to emerging technologies. The strategy posits cloud computing services as a compelling avenue to explore, owing to their potential for rapid deployment, enhancing interoperability, and reducing business continuity risks.


  1. Ensuring System Resilience and Upholding Public Accountability


Key to the strategy is a strong emphasis on mitigating potential risks, particularly those associated with cyber security, privacy, data integrity, and business disruption. This focus ensures that the ICT systems developed will be resilient and robust. Complementing this is a commitment to public accountability. The strategy underscores the citizens’ right to engage with the work of the Parliament and access information generated through the parliamentary process. As trusted custodians of parliamentary information, the strategy commits to digitising and preserving such information for future generations.


  1. Treating Information as a Strategic Asset


Another pivotal component of the strategy is the goal of managing information as a strategic asset. The aim is to optimise core parliamentary information assets, taking an enterprise approach that will enhance interoperability and preserve the integrity of content. The strategy’s objectives by 2022 include digitalising key administrative processes, enhancing data capture and analysis capabilities, creating a digital preservation framework, and increasing cyber resilience.


VII. Revolutionising Digital Content Delivery and Publishing


In recognising the changing ways in which people consume information, the strategy emphasises optimising the information flows, processes and delivery platforms to meet community expectations. The strategy aspires to enhance the accessibility of public information, allowing third parties to leverage data in real time, and delivering rich media content that is in tune with contemporary information consumption patterns.


VIII. Enabling Work from Anywhere, at Any Time, and on Any Device


Reflecting the ubiquitous nature of digital technology, the strategy seeks to support and enable the mobility and interoperability required by Parliamentarians and their staff. This includes provision of cloud-based office productivity tools, flexible printing solutions, integrated voice and video communication tools, and the freedom for clients to choose their devices. This will cater to a mobile workforce that is increasingly working from outside the traditional office environment.


  1. Creating a Culture of Collaboration and Innovation


The strategy’s commitment to creating a culture of innovation and collaboration is reflected in its call for the development of new business processes to minimise structural barriers and inefficiencies. It urges harnessing the collective expertise and experience that exists across the Parliamentary Service. The strategy envisions a digital environment where staff members are empowered to suggest and implement improvements.


  1. Roadmaps for Strategy Implementation


The strategy envisages a series of roadmaps to guide its implementation. Each roadmap focuses on a different aspect of the parliamentary system, such as workforce development, information management, digital publishing, modernising systems, and infrastructure enhancement. These roadmaps are intended to provide clear steps and timelines for the implementation of the strategy’s objectives, ensuring transparency and accountability.


  1. Governance and Oversight: Ensuring Effective Implementation


The strategy underscores the importance of robust governance and advisory arrangements to underpin the provision of digital services. The Presiding Officers and the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services jointly administer the Parliament, creating a clear line of authority and accountability. The Parliamentary ICT Advisory Board (PICTAB) and heads of parliamentary departments are also involved in governance arrangements, thus enabling a collaborative and inclusive approach to implementing the strategy.


In conclusion, the Australian Parliament Digital Strategy 2019-2022 is a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation within the Parliament. It recognises the changing expectations and needs of users and strives to create an environment where these needs can be met. The strategy aligns digital ambitions with the values of democratic governance, ensuring that the Parliament remains a vibrant, accessible, and responsive institution in a digital era. This transformative approach is a testament to the Parliament’s commitment to ensuring the democratic process remains relevant and accessible in the 21st century.

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