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22 Nov 066 ATO says it protects personal information

In a media release issued on 21 November 2006, the ATO reassured the community it protects the personal information of Australia’s 11 million individual and 2.5 million business taxpayers. Acting Tax Commissioner Greg Farr said the Tax Office takes the privacy of taxpayer information very seriously. Over the past 10 years around 1,800 taxpayers had their records wrongly accessed by around 200 tax officers.

Mr Farr said: “While no level of unauthorised access is acceptable this is a very small number in the context of the millions of transactions we have with taxpayers each year. Last financial year we detected unauthorised access by 27 staff members. We acted quickly and decisively to deal with these breaches -12 resigned during the course of investigations of which 4 were referred for prosecution, 4 were dismissed and 11 were subject to other action such as demotion or salary reduction.”

For a copy of the ATO media release, No Nat 2006/51, 21 November 2006, go here

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