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As part of the Government's Taxation Reform Initiatives, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was given responsibility for implementing the Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Business Register (ABR) initiatives. The objective of the audit was to assess the administrative effectiveness of the ABN registration process and the ATO's implementation and management of the ABR.
The audit reviewed the Australian Taxation Office's fraud prevention and contol arrangements in relation to the Goods and Services Tax. The audit objective was to assess whether the ATO has implemented administratively effective GST fraud control arrangements, consistent with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.
The audit assessed DITR's and the ATO's administration of the R&D Tax Concession including review processes for registration and subsequent expenditure claims, by eligible companies. In particular, the audit focussed on measuring performance, risk management, and information systems including security and data integrity.
This audit followed up the ANAO's 1999 performance audit report on the Commonwealth's planning and response mechanisms to deal with exotic and new endemic pest and emergencies in the animal and plant sectors (Audit Report No 9 1999-2000 Managing Pest and Disease Emergencies). The previous audit made nine recommendations to improve planning and response strategies for emergencies; better coordination; diagnostic support; and appropriate monitoring and surveillance. The objective of the follow-up audit was to assess AFFA's implementation of the recommendations, and whether implementation of these recommendations, or appropriate alternative measures, has improved the Commonwealth's planning and response strategies for pest and disease emergencies. The ANAO also observed and assessed relevant parts of the September 2002 foot and mouth disease simulation, Exercise Minotaur.
The audit examined the ATO's management of its relationship with tax practitioners (tax agents and the wider group of professionals working on taxation matters for clients). However, our main focus was the ATO's management of its relationship with tax agents because they are the core element of the tax practitioner grouping and their role is fundamental to the effective operation of the tax system. The objective of the audit was to assess how well the ATO manages its relationship with tax practitioners, focussing on selected ATO relationships with tax practitioners, in particular its regulatory relationship with tax agents, its service support relationship with tax agents and its relationship with tax agents and members of the wider tax practitioner group in the professional bodies as key stakeholders in tax administration.