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  • Guidelines for contractors and suppliers

    On this page:

    Supplier commitment, values, and ethical business relationship statement

    Our commitment

    We are committed to working with businesses in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner to achieve better outcomes for all our goods and services providers.

    We expect suppliers to act in an ethical manner and support our values so we can achieve mutual trust in our relationships. This is to ensure business dealings withstand public scrutiny.

    Businesses and government agencies working with an ethical business relationship statement consistently achieve better results and reduce costs.

    Benefits include:

    • improved business relationships
    • reduced disagreements
    • quicker and easier problem resolution
    • support for considering innovations from business
    • helping businesses advance their organisational objectives.

    Our values

    We value:

    • fairness and professionalism
    • the rule of law
    • challenges and opportunities applying equally to us when conducting business with suppliers.

    We are committed to the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct and APS values set out in the Public Service Act 1999. These identify government and community expectations about APS professionalism and integrity, and the values and principles that guide public administration.

    Ethical business relationship statement

    The ethical business relationship (EBR) statement details codes of conduct and mutual responsibilities in business dealings between the ATO and our suppliers.

    See also:

    Work health and safety requirements for contractors and suppliers

    We are committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our workers.

    We regularly assess and control risks that may affect the health and safety of workers and third parties.

    When doing business with us, contractors and suppliers are expected to contribute to a safe and healthy workplace by complying with certain principles and legislative requirements.

    See also:

    Information security guidelines for contractors

    The Australian Government expects us to maintain a security environment that protects our functions and official resources.

    The Protective Security Policy FrameworkExternal Link (PSPF) sets out the policies, practices and procedures all government departments and agencies must comply with.

    See also:

    Records management

    Records management is a crucial part of all government administration and accountability. It is the basis for maintaining documentary evidence of government activities and decisions that support good business practice.

    It ensures records are managed in accordance with business, community and legal requirements.

    The need for records management applies whether our business is conducted within government agencies, or outsourced.

    See also:


    From February 2021, we centralised and automated how we receive and process invoices. This has enabled faster turnaround and payment times for eligible invoices.

    This section includes details about:

    Invoice requirements

    From 1 February 2021, all invoices must be sent to Invoices should no longer be sent directly to your ATO contact.

    When you submit invoices to the ATO, they must:

    • include an invoice number
    • include a purchase order number
    • include the ATO contact name and email address (where there is no purchase order)
    • be in PDF format (one invoice only per PDF attachment)
    • have only one purchase order per invoice.

    Supporting documentation

    Supporting documentation can be provided but:

    Purchase orders

    ATO suppliers under a contract/work order arrangement will automatically receive a purchase order (PO) notification when engaged to provide goods and services. A PO will also be issued when changes are made to an existing arrangement.

    Payment terms

    When and how you receive payment depends on the contract's cost, duration and complexity.

    For some procurements, payment may be made in instalments, or at different stages of the contract. These are referred to as milestone payments. If this applies to you, refer to your contract for dates. Also check if performance or other dependencies are linked to payment terms.

    Providing all required information on your invoice will ensure the ATO can meet its obligations under the Australian Government's pay on-time policyExternal Link.


    The ATO now uses e-invoicing. This means invoices are electronically exchanged between the ATO and your finance software. To use this system, you will need to ensure your finance software is enabled for e-invoicing.

    See also:

    Last modified: 29 Jan 2021QC 33523