The ATO and Customs jointly sponsor the TIF with the Assistant Commissioner Excise, Clients and Risk and the National Director Compliance, Customs as joint Chairs.
The ATO and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will alternate for the provision of a meeting venue. The ATO will provide for the resourcing of the secretariat including the time required to prepare for the meeting and maintaining the records of the meeting. Members contribute their time to attend meetings and read any relevant documents.
Frequency and timing of meetings
The TIF will meet a minimum of twice yearly with dates for the next meeting to be set at each meeting based on members' availability. Any papers will be circulated five business days prior to the meeting.
The secretariat will send the agenda to all members five business days prior to the meeting. The secretariat will record the minutes at each meeting and send to all members draft minutes within two weeks of the meeting.
Risks and issues management
Risks identified will be managed jointly by both Chairs and where necessary escalated to the appropriate body.
All key decisions will be communicated via the minutes which will be distributed using email and published on the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au/excise and reported at the next TIF meeting. The responsibility for distributing the minutes lies with the secretariat. All members must clear the minutes prior to publishing on the ATO website.
From time-to-time, the TIF may need to deal with information that is confidential. It is the Chair's responsibility to clearly identify such material when putting it to the forum.
A confidentiality agreement will not be used unless:
- there are exceptional circumstances, meaning that the confidentiality agreement:
- is required by government - that is, by an Act or other legislative instrument or by a ministerial direction, or
- is required for material commercial-in-confidence considerations - that is, to enable the information to be legitimately put to, or held in confidence by, the forum, and
- that confidentiality agreement:
- identifies the reason it is required, the confidential information to which it relates, and applicable timeframes
- allows the recipient of the information to liaise with other members of the TIF, and (where applicable) subject matter experts in their own organisations, on the basis that the information is confidential.
Expenses incurred in attending the forum meetings are met by the individual member.
Escalation of issues
Issues needing escalation will have the issue recorded in an external stakeholders' issues brief and the ATO Chair will arrange for it to be placed on the agenda of the appropriate committee.
Conflicts of interest and roles procedures
The joint Chairs for the TIF are responsible for managing both real and perceived conflicts of interests and roles within the committee.
The following procedure outlines how real and perceived conflicts will be managed.
- At the start of each meeting, members should raise any conflict of interest or roles relating to particular agenda items. This will then be managed by the Chair in one of the following ways:
- the member may be excused from the meeting for the relevant agenda item(s)
- the member remains in the meeting, but does not participate in the discussion
- the member be given opportunity to contribute to the discussion by offering advice or opinions prior to the issue being discussed by the committee as a whole, or
- the member contributes to discussion after verbally declaring a conflict.
- Declarations of conflicts of interest will be recorded in the minutes of that meeting.
Tobacco Industry Forum operations from 1 July to 30 June will be reviewed annually each July in conjunction with annual reporting. Reviews will be conducted by the joint Chairs, in consultation with members and key stakeholders.
Last Modified: Wednesday, 27 June 2012