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05. Organisational capability

Last updated 26 July 2023

Our organisational capability is the combination of our people, culture, governance principles, processes, systems and knowledge.

Having a strong organisational capability directly contributes to delivering on our strategic objectives and purpose, ensuring we are well-positioned to support the Australian community.


We are a high‑performing and agile workforce with a focus on integrity, the right culture, capability and tools to deliver the best client and staff experience.

The expertise and capability of our people is key to delivering our outcomes. We are committed to our role in managing tax, superannuation and registry services for the community, and also our role as part of the broader public service, supporting the plan for APS reform.

Within a challenging workforce environment, we have adapted our people strategies and refreshed our employment offer so we can continue to attract specialist skills and invest in the capability of our workforce. Our people are our foundation and we are committed to investing in the development of the core technical skills they require now and into the future. We know it is important that they have leaders who inspire, empower and encourage them to take action and be their best selves. Our SES leadership strategy sets the expectations of how we lead the organisation today and nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

We are committed to maintaining safe work practices and workplaces for our people. We support our staff to manage their own wellbeing and create a healthier work environment that positions them to support individual and organisational performance.

We continue to embed diversity and inclusion strategies and build an inclusive workplace that improves the experience of staff and enhances our interactions with clients. We are continuously striving to achieve higher representation across diversity groups to ensure our workforce reflects the Australian community we serve.

As we continue to deliver on the 2024 Workforce Strategy, we are positioning the ATO and our people for the future and ensuring we are ready to adapt and respond to changes in our working environment. Over the coming year, we will sharpen the focus of this strategy on uplifting the capability of our workforce with identified priorities across the focus areas of Attract and recruit, Develop and Retain.

Attract and recruit

We are engaging with professionals across a range of sectors in the external labour market to create connection with our values and purpose and promote the unique and diverse career opportunities available in the ATO.


We are taking a contemporary approach to developing our people to take on more varied and complex roles across a range of disciplines. We have a specific focus on uplifting our digital and data capabilities


We are continuing to shape a staff experience and culture where people feel engaged, productive, connected, safe and valued.


Our technology and digital services deliver a reliable and contemporary client experience and keep pace with community expectations.

We are a leading digital business, known for technology-enabled innovation, integrity and insight across the tax, superannuation and registry systems. Our Technology Strategy will continue to guide investment in our key technology services, while building the foundation for future capabilities and supporting our data and analytics capability. Our goal is to deliver the following outcomes.

  • Exceptional client and staff experiences
    The ATO’s technology services drive digital-first thinking and deliver high-quality client and staff experiences.
  • Effective and efficient organisation
    Technology is managed in a way that supports the ATO in being highly effective and efficient at doing its business.
  • Interoperable ecosystem with high levels of trust
    The ATO is building foundations that foster a high-functioning ecosystem where market-driven innovation delivers value.

We will achieve this by focusing on the following strategic technology priorities:

  • modern and stable information technology systems
  • applications and platform design
  • natural systems and data insights
  • efficiency, value and cost
  • capability and culture.

The ATO Digital Strategy continues the shift to digitalisation with a strong focus on keeping our existing suite of digital services and foundations strong while making the right incremental improvements and additions to our digital services. We will focus on increasing built-in upfront integrity with secure services, while reimagining how our digital systems support the future needs of clients. We’ve made significant advances to improve experiences for clients and will leverage these foundations to continue digitalising our operations, providing quality end-to-end digital services. The framework to deliver our digital strategy is underpinned by 4 pillars which enable us to deliver on our 2025 vision to be a leading digital business, shaping trusted and effective digital services and ecosystems.

  • Evolve our digital maturity
    Evolve our operating model and processes to enable innovation and cost-effectiveness.
    Develop our workforce to have the digital knowledge and skills to drive ‘digital first’ thinking to enhance our staff and client experiences.
  • Continue to deliver and leverage the right digital platforms
    Deliberate investment in our missing digital capabilities to enable experiences that reflect the contemporary digital world.
    Maximise the benefits and use of our current digital capabilities to meet the needs of our users.
  • Deliver personalised optimal experiences for our clients and our people
    Tax and superannuation ‘just happen’ through simple digital interactions, authenticated identity and verifiable and trusted data.
    Know and understand our clients and offer digital services and support to meet their needs anywhere, anytime on any device.
    Digitalisation of our staff experiences, services and processes and empowering our staff with intelligent workflows and client data.

Collaborate with partners to build connected and trusted ecosystems

Take a whole-of-ecosystem view and actively participate in the digital ecosystem with our partners.

Strengthen digital services to uphold privacy, security and improve fraud prevention and responses.

Financial investment

We strive for operational excellence to achieve efficiency and quality outcomes.

The ATO is committed to ensuring all spending arrangements support the proper use of ATO resources and reflect efficient, effective, economical, and ethical use of funds consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth.

Our financial policy framework ensures that we meet all the requirements of good governance over our decisions and actions under the PGPA Act including the following:

  • Committing money and approving spending
    The ATO is committed to ensuring all spending arrangements support the proper use of ATO resources and are approved by someone with the appropriate delegation or authorisation.
  • Financial governance
    The PGPA Act requires all officials to have a high standard of governance and promote the proper use of public resources in an efficient, effective, economical, and ethical way.
  • Budget management
    The ATO is committed to best practice in the efficient and effective use of its resources in accordance with PGPA Act. This includes managing expenditure in line with budget requirements.

Our financial management practices are underpinned by the ATO's principles for financial governance which inform how the ATO collects, manages, monitors, and controls financial information and outcomes. All officials are required to have a high standard of governance and promote the proper use of public resources in an efficient, effective, economical, and ethical way.

We achieve this by:

  • ensuring decisions and actions support the financial integrity of the ATO
  • developing and maintaining a robust financial integrity framework to ensure the ATO’s financial transactions are complete, accurate, transparent and in accordance with legislative requirements
  • maintaining controls to ensure financial duties performed on behalf of the ATO are carried out with the proper authority and where necessary the relevant delegation
  • providing support and ongoing education to help staff make informed decisions that are efficient, effective, economical, and ethical.