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Legal and policy obligations

Information on the range of legal obligations and government policies in relation to indemnities.

Last updated 20 January 2020

The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (DCT) must consider a range of legal obligations and government policies in order to approve an indemnity and grant Commonwealth resources (public monies).

Sufficient information must be provided to enable the DCT (through their delegated officials) to make an informed and justified decision, which complies with all the necessary legal and policy obligations. If the necessary information is not provided, the DCT may reject the indemnity request.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) came into effect on 1 July 2014. It is the Commissioner of Taxation (Commissioner)'s responsibility, pursuant to the PGPA Act, to ensure the affairs of the ATO are managed in a way that promotes the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of Commonwealth resources and in a manner that is not inconsistent with Commonwealth policies.

Similarly, the Commissioner has issued Chief Executive Instructions (CEIs) governing the approval and management of spending public monies. CEIs are issued to promote and ensure adequate accountability of the proper use and management of public money, public property and other government resources.

Due to these requirements, the decision-making process can take considerable time. Any indemnity request should be made as soon as the need is identified.