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  • 07. Australian Business Register

    We support a fairer business environment for the community, businesses and government through trusted business registry services and digital standards.

    The Commissioner of Taxation is also the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR). While the program is delivered by ATO staff, the Registrar has separate and distinct responsibilities as outlined in section 28 of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999, and the ABR program receives separate funding.

    Future state

    Our business registry services and digital standards instil confidence, and are relied on to support a fairer business environment.

    Purpose

    The ABR program contributes to improving national productivity by:

    • delivering effective and efficient business registry services that provide trusted and accessible national business data
    • encouraging trust and confidence in the broader use of national business data by the community, businesses and government – to promote the development of new and better services for businesses, using the ABN as a key identifier
    • reducing the administrative cost to businesses in their dealings with other businesses and government.

    The ABR program encompasses:

    • the Register, which is a trusted national business dataset and business registry services
    • Standard Business Reporting (SBR), which defines a common language for business information and standards for digital information exchange and sharing with businesses and government
    • secure authentication options, giving business easy access to a range of services.

    Strategic risk focus

    Through our business registry services and digital standards we need to maintain the integrity of the tax system and reduce administrative burden.

    We understand that trusted business registry services and digital standards will support a fairer business environment that fosters greater economic growth and job creation. Accepting and managing risk associated with achieving the ABR strategic objective is vital to delivering on our purpose as an organisation.

    We have well-established systems of risk oversight and management that align with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy, to support compliance with section 16 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

    Strategic initiatives

    • ABR program commitments – deliver on commitments, including maintaining trust and confidence in the ABR, and the digital exchange standards
    • Modernise business registry services – co-design modern business registry services, including a Director Identification Number, that are trusted to support informed decision making and outcomes
    • ABN regulatory reform – consult on a new regulatory framework for Australian Business Numbers, to support the integrity of the tax system

    Performance measures

    The ABR program works with government, digital service providers, the business community and other key stakeholders to support a fairer business environment that fosters greater economic growth and job creation. This will be achieved through increased use of a trusted national business dataset and use of consistent information exchange standards.

    • Increased use of the ABR as the national business dataset
    • Reduction in the administrative cost to businesses and government in dealing with each other

    Environment

    The ABR will focus on modernising business registers across government to reduce the complexity of regulation for business and make dealing with government easier. This will support the earlier identification of risk in the business environment and enhancing education and compliance activity, in areas such as the black economy and ‘phoenixing’, by making it easy to get things right and hard not to.

    SBR will be evolved to provide more flexible technology options and make it easier to implement. This will include a focus on building on the SBR’s growth and continuing to meet the future demands of business and government digital engagement.

    Capability

    ABR’s capability requirements are included in ATO capability.

      Last modified: 01 Aug 2018QC 56312