The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released its performance audit report on the Costs and Benefits of the Reinventing the ATO Program.

The ATO said the overall intent of the Reinventing the ATO program was to transform the ATO’s internal culture, “providing a stronger connection to the community and an openness and willingness to change in order to maximise willing participation in the tax and superannuation systems“.

  1. The report found that the ATO has sound systems and guidance for estimating and monitoring the costs, savings and benefits associated with Reinventing the ATO projects but the effectiveness of these processes has been compromised by low levels of conformance. As a result, the ANAO said the costs, savings and benefits from these projects cannot be calculated.
  2. The report also found that the ATO has sound project management processes in place to support the estimation of costs associated with Reinventing the ATO projects but has not always had sound processes for estimating potential savings from the projects.

The ANAO report made 2 recommendations, both of which were partially agreed to by the ATO:

  • Recommendation 1: That the ATO mandate and monitor the recording and reporting of actual project costs for all corporate projects. The ATO ‘partially agreed’.
  • Recommendation 2: That the ATO enforce the mandating of status reports and governance gate assurance activities to support assessment of the ongoing viability of projects including delivery of expected benefits. The ATO ‘partially agreed’ to this recommendation, too.

[ANAO website: Audit of ATO Reinvention; FJM; LTN 233, 5/12/17; Tax Month Dec 2007]

About the author