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  • KPI 6 performance summary

    Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks

    The following table shows the measures of good regulatory performance and the related metrics. The results of the metrics and analysis are outlined in the Appendix.





    Establish cooperative and collaborative relationships with stakeholders to promote trust and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the
    ATO administration.

    1, A1, S17


    Engage stakeholders in the development of options to reduce compliance costs.



    Regularly share feedback from stakeholders and performance information with policy departments to improve the operation of the tax and superannuation systems and associated administrative processes.

    Note: There are no specific metrics for measure 6.3, as per the ATO Regulator Performance Framework.

    Self-assessment rating: Good

    This assessment is based on the results of the metrics relating to each measure and the examples of how we contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks.

    Summary of metric results

    Of our three metrics for this KPI, one remained relatively stable, one showed a decline and one is based on activities. Timely communication of our decision to consult on matters submitted remains an area for improvement.

    Strong results in the engagement and sharing of information with our stakeholders and working with government agencies to contribute to improvements in the operation of the tax and superannuation systems are outlined in the following activity-based examples.

    Activity-based examples

    We continue to see results from our Treasury partnership, where our understanding of the tax and superannuation systems aided in identifying and scoping of revenue measures for the Budget 2018–19. We influenced the design and delivery of measures relating to affordable housing, superannuation guarantee integrity, and the black economy to address tax avoidance, and the Hybrid Mismatch rules, providing guidance on the operation of those rules and the new diverted profits tax. We also provided advice on Budget revenue and administered expenses forecasts.

    The ATO provides access to high quality tax data to enable policy evaluation and research. We produce detailed micro tax data for the Treasury and Parliamentary Budget Office and work with these organisations on policy costings and analysis. We also publish annual aggregate taxation statistics, respond to ad hoc data requests, and release cross-sectional ‘confidentialised’ individual micro tax data and a new longitudinal file of income tax and superannuation data for external researchers.

    Our influence is also seen in our international collaboration. Along with Treasury, we engage regularly with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other tax regulators to share intelligence and work on areas of common concern.

    By working with and through others, we can deliver more for our clients. Our Cash Flow Coaching Kit, which we co-designed and tested with registered tax practitioners and their small business clients, is one example. In 2017, the kit was awarded an Australian Good Design Award in the Public Sector category for ‘smart, practical application of design thinking to a widespread, real-life need’ and our approach was recognised as best practice in our work on the Future of the Tax Profession. We are continuing our collaborative approach on a digital version.

    We have been co-designing a new system, Online services for agents, to provide tax and BAS agents with access to services currently available through our portals. With the help of the agent community, we are confident the product will meet the needs and expectations of end users and empower them to assist their clients. To supplement this product, we are working to assist digital service providers to integrate the same Online services for agents functionality into the practice management software they develop for tax and BAS agents.

    Another key to better consultation and working with our partners is giving them a voice and an advocate within our agency. In 2017–18, our consultation focus was on making it easier for individuals and industry bodies to contribute to the development of the tax and superannuation systems, raising matters of their own or responding to matters we are seeking views on.

    Our new Partners Experience Committee was established following the model we used to guide ATO-wide improvements for our various client segments. The committee is charged with setting the ATO’s partnering vision and developing the strategies and plans for optimising outcomes from the interactions we have with our partners.

    A new Professional Services Reference Group, made up of key influencers in the tax and BAS agent communities, will focus on understanding issues affecting agents and developing practical solutions to those issues.

    Each of our ATO stewardship groups has diverse representation across the Australian community, ensuring we have access to the views and inputs of as many stakeholders as possible. These groups are responsible for the stewardship of their respective market or product segment. Throughout 2017–18, we identified some opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our stewardship groups and we continue to collaborate with key stakeholders to optimise the contribution these groups make to the tax and superannuation systems.

    Other activities designed to help small businesses meet their tax and superannuation obligations included visits to regional communities, webinars, after-hours assistance via web chat or call-backs, and a range of self-help and public information videos.

    The ATO is committed to the whole-of-government Shared Services Program, which aims to ensure the APS is positioned to respond to the challenges of a rapidly changing environment in tight fiscal circumstances. To ensure effective planning and design of our shared services offering and supporting technology, the ATO is actively engaged with the Department of Finance, other provider agencies and nominated consumer agencies.

    Digital identity and the broader digital ecosystem is changing and the ATO is embracing this future. In partnership with the Digital Transformation Agency, we are developing GovPass – a way to manage identity digitally across government. GovPass forms the government’s client identity program, allowing individuals to securely and easily identify themselves, connect with government digital services and authorise people to act on their behalf.

      Last modified: 08 Feb 2019QC 57845