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  • Evaluating alternative dispute resolution in tax disputes

    In 2013–14 the ATO engaged the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI) to independently evaluate our alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes to help build community confidence in using ADR in tax and super disputes.

    ACJI is a research and teaching centre at Monash University that collated and analysed results by surveying participants on their experience in ADR to:

    • assess the effectiveness of current processes
    • identify opportunities to improve future processes and enhance our dispute resolution capability.

    Findings and impact

    The independent evaluation provided valuable insight into the quality and effectiveness of our use of ADR and identified areas for improvement. Most importantly, it provided findings on how we can help ADR practitioners and taxpayers maximise opportunities to resolve disputes earlier by using ADR.

    The result also gave us with a valuable baseline of data to compare with any future survey findings.

    More about the evaluation scope

    The evaluation examined participant experiences in a range of ADR processes in tax and super disputes including:

    • conciliation
    • mediation
    • neutral evaluation
    • case appraisal.

    Survey participants

    The surveyed participants included:

    • taxpayers and their advisors
    • ATO staff and legal representatives
    • ADR practitioners (including the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and Court representatives).

    Independent research team

    The research team was made up of independent ADR experts, external to the ATO, who possessed a wealth of expertise both in conducting ADR and in designing mechanisms to evaluate ADR use. It was led by Professor Tania Sourdin, Director, Australian Centre for Justice Innovation.

    See also:  

      Last modified: 31 Mar 2017QC 32730