The public service is soon to launch a recruitment drive to boost the number and range of bureaucrats with digital and data skills.
The push will be part of a workforce strategy to be released in coming weeks, as part of the response to a landmark review of the public service led by former Telstra boss David Thodey.
Australian Public Service Commission boss Peter Woolcott told an inquiry hearing in Canberra on Friday the world was becoming much more interconnected, and issues and technologies were moving quickly.
"What we are trying to do with the workforce strategy is recognise we need to be better as a public service in developing and growing our own capabilities in the digital and data space," he said.
"We have a good sense of our requirements going forward and what are the skills we need going forward as a public service."
He said contractors would still be used to fill skill gaps and meet short-term needs, but it was time for the public service to ensure it was developing its own capabilities.
Asked by Labor senator Tim Ayres how many contractors and labour hire personnel were currently used across the Australian public service, Mr Woolcott said: "We don't collect that (data)."
However, the inquiry heard individual agencies and departments routinely published the information in their annual reports.
Mr Woolcott also confirmed the new APS Academy, to be headquartered at Old Parliament House, would be launched in July.
The academy will provide training in leadership, integrity, governance and policy delivery, as well as work with academic institutions and specialists.
Australian Associated Press