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The operations and performance of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are subject to external scrutiny from parliamentary committees and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). Recommendations made by parliamentary committees and performance audits identify risks to the successful delivery of outcomes. The implementation of recommendations agreed to by the ATO will provide the most benefit when the actions taken are timely and adequately address the recommendation.
The ATO’s purpose is to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by fostering willing participation in the tax and superannuation systems. In 2015–16, with approximately 20 700 staff and an operating expense budget of $3.44 billion, the ATO collected $342.6 billion in net tax. From 2011–12 to 2014–15, the ANAO made 39 performance audit recommendations to the ATO and parliamentary committees made 37 recommendations.
The audit objective was to examine the effectiveness of the ATO’s monitoring and implementation of recommendations about its administration made by the ANAO and parliamentary committees. To form a conclusion against the audit objective, the ANAO adopted the following high-level criteria:
- the ATO’s implementation of ANAO and parliamentary committee recommendations has been adequate and timely; and
- the ATO has effectively reviewed, monitored and reported on the implementation of ANAO and parliamentary committee recommendations.