• ATO consultation protocol

    Preamble

    We are committed to consultation as a means of improving the administration of Australia’s tax and superannuation systems in ways that benefit the national interest.

    By consulting appropriately with the right people at the right time, we can make the best use of the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders.

    We are more likely to succeed if our consultation proceeds according to a commonly accepted set of principles. This protocol sets out those principles.

    The protocol is complementary to the respective codes of professional conduct that apply to officers of the ATO and to external stakeholder members of the consultative groups – including individuals and representatives of business and profession associations.

    Key principles

    The ATO, in undertaking consultation on the administration of Australia’s tax and superannuation systems, will:

    • clearly set out at the commencement of consultation or engagement the:    
      • issue that is to be the subject of consultation
      • expected timeframe for the consultation process
      • extent of any confidentiality constraints to be imposed on participants
       
    • allow sufficient time for considered consultation, including for circulation of relevant materials, noting that from time to time the constraints of government
      decision-making timeframes may impose upon this principle
    • provide timely feedback and reports to participants on the progress of consultations and consultation outcomes.

    All participants in these consultations will:

    • respect the confidentiality of information provided by other participants to the consultation
    • engage in consultation in good faith and a transparent manner, demonstrating mutual respect for the expertise, contributions and role of other participants
    • disclose to the ATO any matters that could be perceived to be, or are, conflicts of interest – including actual or potential, direct or indirect effects on the participants themselves or their close associates or clients or business interests – noting that this will be done without breaching client confidentiality, and that disclosure to other participants in the consultation group may be warranted.
    Last modified: 21 Jan 2015QC 43729