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Ethical business relationship statement

The ethical business relationship (EBR) statement details codes of conduct and responsibilities in business dealings between the ATO and its suppliers.

Last updated 20 September 2020

Our ethical business relationship (EBR) statement is built on personal and professional values, and public and private sector objectives and standards.

When working with us there are a number of things you can expect from us and certain things we expect from you.

What you can expect from us

You can expect us to:

  • operate within the law
  • comply with our legal obligation to maintain the secrecy of information we have as a tax administrator about a supplier's taxation affairs and not access or use that information for our business dealings with that supplier
  • manage activities with integrity, professionalism, honesty and fairness
  • disclose and take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest (real or apparent)
  • ensure that any outside employment our staff are permitted to undertake will not compromise their ATO duties and responsibilities
  • have open and accountable procurement processes
  • treat all potential suppliers and contractors equitably
  • control access to information held on contractors and in particular information that meets confidentiality requirements (including commercially sensitive or taxpayer-related information)
  • resolve problems through timely, effective and equitable mechanisms and processes
  • apply probity and conflict of interest requirements proportionate to the risks
  • not use our duties, status, power and authority in order to seek or gain a benefit or advantage for ourselves and any other person
  • not seek to benefit from supplier practices that may be dishonest, unethical or unsafe
  • actively discourage our staff from accepting gifts, hospitality or any other benefits offered by virtue of their employment with the ATO or the APS
  • ensure that any purchases identified through market research, unsolicited proposals or innovations follow Commonwealth procurement policies
  • purchase from our panel arrangements whenever possible and comply with the mandatory provisions in Whole-of-Government and Coordinated Procurement Contracting
  • meet our individual and collective responsibilities
  • provide a clear channel of communication to report unethical practices in our business relationships
  • base our administration and management of contracts on the contract terms and conditions.

What we expect from those providing goods and or services

We expect you to:

  • comply with your obligations under Australian tax laws and meet any relevant international taxation arrangements
  • comply with the law and tell your contract manager as soon as you are aware of anything about your business and tax activities that may impact on the reputation of us or delivery of services to us
  • provide accurate, reliable and timely advice and information
  • advise of actual and apparent conflicts of interest as soon as you become aware of them
  • act ethically, fairly and honestly in all dealings with us
  • work with us according to Commonwealth procurement policies
  • deliver services in an environmentally sustainable manner
  • only use ATO equipment, resources and information for its official purpose
  • comply with all ATO security, privacy and system control requirements when dealing with sensitive information and material to protect its confidentiality and security
  • refrain from offering gifts or inducements to ATO employees
  • refrain from discussing ATO business and information in the media
  • assist us to prevent unethical practices in our business relationships
  • have as part of your business practices a way of receiving and resolving problems
  • be responsible for your personnel and sub-contractors and ensure they are aware of this statement and act in an ethical manner to achieve the standards and behaviour we expect of businesses we deal with.

We may also ask you to:

  • agree to relationship principles that set out how you will work with us and other contractors on significant contracts
  • follow our procedures to inform us of innovative ideas and products.

See also:

Intellectual property rights

All parties will respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of others.

All parties recognise the necessity of having the appropriate IP rights to enable the work to be delivered and for us to fulfil our role.

The parties will be proactive and alert each other where necessary IP rights have not been covered in tenders and contracts and then negotiate and formalise any access, licence and use of intellectual property.

Legislative and policy framework

A number of legislative, policy and related documents form the Commonwealth framework within which we conduct procurement and business activities.

These include: