The Department was established initially as the Department of Information and Extension Services (DIES). It played a vital role during the colonial administration period, particularly during the period immediately preceding Independence and after Independence in carrying out awareness on government programme relating to various social, economic and political issues as well as providing feedback on reactions of people regarding progress and development. In 1982 the Department of Information and Extension Services was abolished and replaced with an Office of Information.
This was further downgraded to the National Information Service (NIS); a small media unit was created in the Prime Minister’s Department and NEC to provide limited government information for public awareness. In 1992, the Government re-established the Department of Information and Communications to carry out information dissemination and provide communications policy advise but was again downgraded to an Office status until in 2004, it was reinstated to a Department status through NEC Decision No. 292/2003.Prior to the 2007 General Elections, the Department had a dual role as it had accountabilities for both the State Enterprises and Communication and Information, however, following the 2007 General Elections, the functions of the Department was streamlined again to focus on Information and Communication Services only.
The Department of Information and Communications was established through Ministerial Determination Gazettal No. 145/2007 with its primary function to provide timely policy advice to the Minister on communication and information matters, and also coordinate awareness and dissemination of government development information. In August 2020, the Government approved a name change of the Department of Information and Communication to Department of Information and Communications Technology through NEC Decision No. 252/2020. The Department has now added a new dimension to its functions, consistent with the Government approved Digital Transformation Policy, with emphasis on transforming Papua New Guinea to a digital economy.