A review of the Victorian Public Service’s digital strategy has slammed it for suffering from ineffective governance, weak strategic leadership and a lack of ownership of ICT responsibilities.

Auditor-General John Doyle says his Delivering Services to Citizens and Consumers via Devices of Personal Choice: Phase 1 — Interim Report found a “lack of control at a whole-of-public-sector level”.

“As a result, a coordinated and effective whole-of-public-sector approach to digital service delivery has yet to be achieved,” Mr Doyle said.

The Auditor-General said similar findings were made in previous audits, particularly the recent Digital Dashboard audit, which looked at the status of ICT projects and initiatives.

He said the latest audit showed weak strategic leadership and ownership of whole-of-public-sector ICT governance continues.

It also found coordination and implementation of the Digital Strategy was ineffective, as was the level of engagement to drive digital readiness.

“Despite the clarity of purpose and responsibilities outlined in the Victorian GovernmentICT Governance Framework and strategies, those accountable for the engagement, oversight and implementation of digital service delivery still missed the mark,” Mr Doyle said.

“I am encouraged by the recently announced review of the ICT portfolio and governance arrangements by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and particularly the launch of Service Victoria, which will commence planning for a new whole-of-public-sector service capability.

“‘I remain optimistic that vital governance and strategic leadership reforms will occur in the very near future.”

But, Mr Doyle said, it is imperative that these reforms lead to effective ICT coordination, guidance and assurance processes across the public sector.

The three key recommendations call for; “fit-for-purpose” governance structures, a cost-attribution methodology for service transactions and an integrated whole-of-public-sector digital engagement approach.

The full audit is available in PDF form, here.