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  • Assessment of performance

    Overall self-assessment rating: Good

    As a regulator of the tax and superannuation systems in Australia, we have assessed our overall performance against the Regulator Performance Framework to be good.

    This assessment is based on the outcomes of our metrics and the improvements made for each the six key performance indicators (KPIs). We have assessed our performance to be good for each individual KPI with details of our assessment outlined in the individual KPI summaries.

    Overall we achieved positive results for 24 of the 43 ATO-specific metrics, with eight remaining relatively stable and 11 showing a decline.

    Although there may have been a decline showing for some service commitments, all service commitment with targets have been met or exceeded.

    Following is a breakdown of our assessment for each KPI.

    KPI 1: Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 10

    Stable – 4

    Decline – 1

    Activity-based examples:

    Early engagement across multiple markets

    SuperStream implementation

    Tax Help program

    Improvements from 2015–16:

    Small Business Fix-it Squads are rapid-design projects where small business owners, federal, state and local government agencies, and intermediaries work together to examine and resolve problems affecting small business owners.

    KPI 2: Communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 7

    Stable – 2

    Decline – 7

    Activity-based examples:

    Communication of public advice and guidance

    Project refresh

    Guidance to super fund members

    Improvements from 2015–16:

    We have had a 45% reduction in our website content, removing duplication and complexity to allow greater ease of use. Over the past two years, we have removed approximately 5.8 million words from the website.

    We are continuing to make a number of changes to how we produce, communicate and deliver public advice and guidance. These changes will make it easier for our clients to find the information they need, when they need it.

    KPI 3: Actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 4

    Stable – 0

    Decline – 0

    Activity-based examples:

    Streamlined approach to PAYG with small businesses

    Practical compliance guidance

    Taxpayer alerts

    Improvements from 2015–16:

    No areas for improvement identified

    KPI 4: Compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 3

    Stable – 2

    Decline – 2

    Activity-based examples:

    Behavioural insights

    Using data as a strategic resource

    Relationship management model for privately owned and wealthy groups

    Improvement from 2015–16:

    We pre-filled over 81 million records to assist taxpayers who self-prepare their return, or for their tax agents to manage tax obligations.

    KPI 5: Regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 4

    Stable – 0

    Decline – 3

    Activity-based examples:

    Risk differentiation framework

    Early engagement for advice

    Alternative dispute resolution

    Improvement from 2015–16:

    We introduced Dispute Assist and Fast Intensive Triage initiatives to streamline, fast-track and support the resolution of objections. This had an immediate positive impact, resolving disputes more quickly. Our alternative dispute resolution approaches are an excellent example of supporting our clients – reducing time, money and angst.

    KPI 6: Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks

    Assessment:

    Good

    Summary of metric results:

    Improvement – 2

    Stable – 2

    Decline – 1

    Activity-based examples:

    Stewardship groups

    OECD participation

    Commissioner’s remedial power

    Improvements from 2015–16:

    We continue to proactively seek feedback from the community through direct consultation and online channels such as the Let’s Talk site, where clients can contribute their ideas and have a say on tax and super topics relevant to them.

    The two key issues that did affect our performance, particularly in relation to trust and confidence in the ATO, were the IT hardware failures and related service interruptions, and the revelations of Operation Elbrus.

    We were very conscious of the need to restore confidence in our services, performance and integrity. Consequently, we adjusted our priorities and efforts, instigated a number of reviews, responded to external scrutineers, and drove an intensive program to remedy and develop our IT systems ready for Tax Time 2017 and beyond.

    In light of these factors and the results of our metrics, we consider that very positive outcomes were achieved through 2016–17, in particular the reduction in compliance costs for the community and meeting all target based service commitments. However, we recognise the need to maintain our focus on continuing to keep pace with the expectations of our clients and continual improvement. We recognise our survey-based metrics have shown some mixed results with improvement across seven, four remaining relatively stable and six resulting in a decline. The outcomes of these surveys in particular, have highlighted the following areas where we will continue to focus:

    • tailoring communication and services to clients, ensuring an understanding of available services
    • increasing the understanding of how the ATO is integrating its services with other government departments
    • being timely in responding to our clients and keeping them informed about status, delays and issues
    • greater appreciation of, and empathy for, taxpayers, and the operating environment of businesses
    • more sophisticated use of data for both services and compliance purposes
    • earlier engagement, greater transparency and cooperation with clients and tax professionals
    • consulting on matters that directly affect our clients.
      Last modified: 20 Dec 2017QC 54083