ATO Practice Statement Law Administration

PS LA 2003/9

SUBJECT: The Online Resource Centre for Law Administration
PURPOSE: To prescribe the mandatory use of the Online Resource Centre for Law Administration by all ATO personnel involved in technical decision making

Currency of ORCLA
Updates to ORCLA

This law administration practice statement is issued under the authority of the Commissioner and must be read in conjunction with Law Administration Practice Statement PS LA 1998/1. ATO personnel, including non ongoing staff and relevant contractors, must comply with this law administration practice statement, unless doing so creates unintended consequences or is considered incorrect. Where this occurs, ATO personnel must follow their business line's escalation process.


1. The Online Resource Centre for Law Administration (ORCLA) is an electronic manual of corporate policies for ATO personnel[1] who make decisions in respect of law administered by the Commissioner of Taxation, that is, technical decisions. Law administered by the Commissioner includes law governing income tax, indirect taxes, fringe benefits tax, withholding taxes, resource rent taxes, superannuation and excise.

2. ATO personnel who make technical decisions must follow the policies set down in ORCLA, including any business line specific policies that link from ORCLA.

3. The types of work where technical decisions are made include:

private rulings
written guidance
administratively binding advice
compliance activities

4. Technical decisions are also made in the development of public rulings. The Public rulings manual is to be treated as part of ORCLA and must also be followed by ATO personnel involved in the development of public rulings.

Currency of ORCLA

5. The only authoritative version of the policies contained in ORCLA is the electronic version. ATO personnel must not rely on paper copies of ORCLA pages as these may be outdated.

6. ATO personnel who have any concerns about the accuracy, currency, or applicability of the material in ORCLA should email the ORCLA Reference Group mailbox (

7. Additionally, where there is any reason to doubt the correctness of technical interpretations provided in ORCLA, the matter must be escalated for review (together with documented reasons) to the ORCLA Reference Group mailbox.

8. To progress proposed changes to material relating to Interpretative Assistance, ATO personnel must follow the IA capability policy change process. A link to this process map is provided in the Other References section at the conclusion of this practice statement.

9. Business lines are responsible for the currency and maintenance of any business line specific policies linked from ORCLA.

Updates to ORCLA

10. All material changes to ORCLA pages are recorded in the 'What's New' section of ORCLA and listed in the version control table on each page.

11. ATO personnel who require previous versions of ORCLA pages should email the ORCLA Reference Group mailbox.

Amendment history

Date of amendment Part Comment
28 August 2013 Throughout Formatting updated to current LAPS style
Generally Removed references to procedures and instructions
Generally Revised and tightened language to improve clarity of the policy
18 April 2013 Contact details Updated
19 December 2012 Generally Updated to current style guide and updated legislative references.
Contact details Updated.
28 February 2008 Paragraph 11 Added reference to objections
Update references from Part IVAA to Division 358 and from Part IVAAA to Division 359 of Schedule 1 to the TAA.
Related practice statements Update references to PS LA 2008/3.
1 July 2006 Legislative references Update reference from section 37 to section 105-60
17 July 2004 Contact details Updated.
22 October 2003 Paragraph 10 New.

Date of Issue: 22 September 2003

Date of Effect: 22 September 2003

ATO personnel includes staff, employees, and officers. ATO personnel also includes contractors where their agreement or contract states that they will comply with ATO policies.

File 03/12555; 1-4X8X1S0

Other References:
ORCLA (link available internally only)
Public advice and guidance manual (link available internally only)
Interpretive Assistance change frameworkORCLA Reference Group mailbox -

Subject References:
Provision of advice
Private rulings
Public rulings

Authorised by:
Mike Bond
Assistant Commissioner
Law Practice Improvement Projects
Law and Practice
PS LA 2003/9 history
  Date: Version:
  22 September 2003 Original statement
  19 December 2012 Updated statement
You are here 28 August 2013 Updated statement
  29 March 2018 Updated statement