ato logo
Search Suggestion:

KPI 4 performance summary

Last updated 26 February 2020

Compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated

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.





Minimise frequency and impact of requests for information and
coordinate with similar processes including those of other regulators.



Tailor information requests and only make when necessary, and only then in a way that minimises compliance costs to taxpayers.

13, 14


Utilise existing information to limit the reliance on requests to taxpayers and share the information among other regulators, where possible.

12, 14,
A8, A9


Base monitoring and inspection approaches on risk and, where possible, take into account the circumstances and operational needs of taxpayers.


Self-assessment rating: Good

This assessment is based on the results of the metrics relating to each measure and the examples of how we streamline and coordinate compliance and monitoring approaches.

Summary of metric results

Performance either improved or met target for three of the seven metrics for this KPI with one showing a decline and three based on activities.

There has been a significant increase in the use of the Australian Business Register (ABR) by government agencies and the community as demonstrated by the strength of the results. However, there has been a decline in the perceptions of our clients as to how we are integrating services better with other government agencies.

Activity-based examples

Our transition towards being a streamlined, integrated and data-driven organisation relies on having the right data, tools and capability to work smarter, not harder. Developing our data and analytics capability will support an improved client experience and provide greater assurance that information is correct. By enhancing the integration of our data so that our staff have access to relevant information about our clients’ interactions with us, those actions can be more tailored to take into account their specific circumstances.

We continued to extend our data holdings through our data acquisition and quality program, including obtaining data from overseas through our participation in Automatic Exchange of Information with other countries and improving our data quality. Mapping third party data sets is a key element of our work, providing our staff with more relevant information to improve decision making. For example, in 2018–19 we obtained data to better understand how ride-sharing and short-term accommodation providers may impact on the tax system.

Data is driving some of our initiatives to identify areas of concern and risky behaviour. We are using data science to apply a ‘nearest neighbour’ approach to compare returns prepared by tax agents with similar client bases, to see if claims are comparable and to highlight differences. This will allow us to identify areas where agents would benefit from more information and support, and cases where intervention is necessary. This year, we developed a model to give us a holistic view of multiple risks in the tax agent industry, and systematically identify or predict changing behaviour in a timely way.

We are building tools to quickly and easily access data analysis and insights to improve decision making. Our enterprise client profile system is designed to provide our staff with access to client facts and insights. The system visualises consistent and timely information insights in a contemporary way that can be tailored to specific work requirements. The use of enterprise client profile has created efficiencies in providing a complete view of relevant information to support staff in their interactions with clients. For example, staff visiting around 10,000 small businesses as part of our work on the Black Economy Taskforce, were able to access a real-time profile of client facts, history and insights for use prior to and during visits.

Along with obtaining the right data, we are progressing new and innovative ways of using automation and artificial intelligence to streamline business processes, automate repetitive tasks and improve decision making. Machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies provide opportunities to increase our understanding of client behaviours and create efficiencies for more repetitive tasks. In 2018–19, we designed and tested the suitability of RPA software and trialled the extension of machine learning to categorise taxpayer deduction claims and identify risks at a more detailed level. RPA effectively uses technology that follows a pre-programmed set of actions to automatically undertake repetitive, manual and high-volume tasks.

The ATO collects information from a wide range of third-party sources, both public and private, and is expanding collection sources, as well as frequency of data sharing. We are working with other agencies to integrate multiple data sets to produce more accurate and useful data than that provided by single data sources. By combining insights from broadly sourced data sets, we can identify relationships, risks and behaviours previously unknown.

Meeting community expectations that our systems will be secure and available when required and on a variety of platforms is an ongoing challenge. Our focus has been on making it easier for our clients to interact with us as well as updating the systems we use to manage the tax and superannuation system.

With rapid growth in online activity there is greater opportunity for fraudsters to steal and sell personal data. The ATO will continue to invest in securing taxpayer information through robust identity, authentication and authorisation platforms. In June 2019, the myGovID app was released to enable people to securely establish and manage their digital identity with us and across government. We delivered Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM), a new way for people to establish relationships and manage who is authorised to act on their behalf. Authorised representatives of businesses are now able to securely prove their identity using myGovID, link their ABN, manage their authorised contacts, and use the myGovID app to authenticate and access the ATO Business Portal. Tax agents operating on behalf of their clients will soon be able to use myGovID and RAM to access the new ATO Online service for agents.

We increased our cyber security capabilities in controls for compliance and protection against security threats, continuing maturity in detection and response functions, preparation for major initiatives that build our visibility of vulnerabilities and gaps in the environment, and increasing our security certification programs.