The Mal & Paul Show

Hi guys, what’s up? Are you wondering what your new Digital Transformation Office really does for $95.4m? Some people are.

There’s been a lot of hype out there about what the DTO was set up to do. If you read it you’ll get the idea that it’s going to re-invent planetary government, make the universe agile, design thinking for everything and hang out in hip Ultimo cafes being human-centred (not project-centred). Sure, you never believed that DTO KoolAid anyway. But what do you think they really do?

Here’s reality without the KoolAid …

When the DTO was brand new it lived in the Department of Communications and the Arts. That sort of made sense because the job seemed like it belonged to the Internet. They stayed there for a while, and a new guy named Paul left his old job in London and came over to show our public servants what they didn’t know about their jobs. There were announcements, videos, selfies and stuff that matters (STM). Things got off to a great start. Then there was a huge earthquake in Canberra. The Minister of Communications, a guy named Malcolm, was asked to be the Prime Minister. So, he can’t have two jobs and he had a choice. Long story not: he decided to become PM. That meant he got a different department.

But Mal had hand-picked Paul and he really liked him, and so he decided they should go together over to the new building. That’s called Prime Minister and Cabinet, or PM&C for short. But before he could do that Malcolm had to tell his boss: that’s a guy named Peter who is the Governor General, or GG for short. Even PMs can’t just decide stuff like that. And his boss had to agree …..

Mal & Paul Mal & Paul (planning the house move?)

That’s where the Administrative Arrangements Order comes into the story. Malcolm had to write down the changes he wanted to make to Canberra departments, and had to include what Paul would do when he came over. So we have it in writing. There it is, right there.


You’d see it’s actually normal boring, with loads of references to policy. Here’s a link to the rest if you need to know what else the earthquake did around Canberra.

Paul and the DTO Dudes have been trying to kind of hype it into lots of cool places, but that’s not really happening. In fact, because PM&C is where the PM works it’s not really a place where Stuff That Matters (that’s STM) ever gets done. The PM mostly gets other people to do STM for him, in the other departments. PM&C doesn’t have customers, and products and Agile KoolAid. It doesn’t design stuff or do coding or hack into secure systems or run a large digital portfolio of projects and programmes. PM&C doesn’t even have a GitHub account. So it’s possible that Paul might feel a little weird over there.

So watch this space. DigiKoolAid thinks that Paul and the DTO Dudes might soon move again, to a new home that is more their style. Maybe Malcolm knows PM&C is no place for STM and is thinking the same, so he’ll just drop them off on the kerb in Ultimo.

to here


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