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Lessons learnt in ATO change program

Publication date: 05 May 11 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Tax professionals welcome the acknowledgement of the stress caused by the Australian Tax Office’s implementation of its IT Change Program, The Tax Institute said today.

Tax Institute Senior Tax Counsel Robert Jeremenko said the long-awaited Inspector-General of Taxation’s report into the ATO Change Program underlined deficiencies in system testing and communication of issues to tax professionals and the broader community.

“The ATO has shown the ability to learn from the mistakes of the Change Program and lift its game in communicating potential problems,” Mr Jeremenko said.

“Tax Institute members remember the white-hot frustration felt by many during the Change Program implementation over a year ago.

“The period is one that members would rather forget.

“The Inspector-General’s report draws a line under this episode and points the way forward.

“The tax system is too big and too important to be allowed to be disrupted by IT problems.

“It’s good to see the ATO admitting there were problems and now agreeing to establish further processes to try to get it right next time.

Mr Jeremenko said the pace of technological upgrades will accelerate as the ATO responds to the need for systemic improvements.

“While we note the report’s comment that the ATO was in a position where it had to ‘go live’ with its new system when it did, we hope it will engage in more comprehensive testing before future upgrades, and that its communication of any problems is more proactive and transparent.”



The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax.  It aims to improve the taxation system and the delivery of tax services through education, sharing of information and consultation.

For more information:

Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, The Tax Institute, T: 02 8223 0011, M 0468 987 300

Craig Regan, Lighthouse Communications, 02 9692 8811, 0408 448 527.