• Release of the ATO systems report

    Today the ATO has released a report into the systems outages we experienced in December last year and February this year. This report incorporates findings from our own internal review, as well as technical advice and a separate report prepared by independent expert reviewers.

    Key findings

    The report outlines what happened to our IT systems and the impact on our stakeholders. In summary the report has found that:

    • the outage was caused by multiple component failures on the ATO’s primary Storage Area Network (SAN), which was supplied and operated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
    • the impact of the outage was compounded by the design and configuration the SAN – the review found that there was an over emphasis on performance features rather than stability or resilience
    • our business continuity mechanisms, communications and engagement worked well, but into the future need to be more inclusive of our partners.

    Recommended improvements

    The report identifies areas for improvement, classified into five themes:

    • principles informing our IT design
    • correcting the identified faults
    • enhancing our capability to support infrastructure design and IT governance
    • incident responses for the ATO and the wider tax system
    • managing communication and business resumption with stakeholders.

    We are committed to addressing each of these areas and have already made improvements or have work underway. We are also well progressed in our work to ensure the stability, security and reliability of our systems ahead of Tax Time 2017.

    We are mindful of the disruption that the outages caused the community and our key stakeholders – practitioners, the superannuation industry and digital service providers – and are considering what further measures we can put in place to minimise the risk of the ATO and the community being exposed to this type of incident in the future.

    We would like to acknowledge the work, contribution and professionalism of ATO staff and our contract service provider, HPE, to resolve immediate issues and implement a long-term solution that sets us up for future success.

    To read the Commissioner’s foreword,

    To read the executive summary,

    To read the full report (PDF 608KB)This link will download a file.

    Last modified: 08 Jun 2017QC 52497