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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.
The objective of the performance audit was to review the progress in the delivery of contractual commitments for Industry Development (ID) for the five contracts awarded under the IT Outsourcing Initiative. In particular, the audit examined the effectiveness of the monitoring by DCITA of achievement against contractual commitments for ID; assessed the impact of changes to the IT outsourcing environment on the management and monitoring of ongoing ID obligations; and identified practices that have improved administrative arrangements.
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.
The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) manages Australia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various development banks, including those belonging to the World Bank Group. The audit examined Treasury's management of these obligations. In view of the size of Australia's investments and obligations, the audit focussed on financial management issues.
Although the audit examined broader aspects of the ATO's administration (such as, tobacco excise governance arrangements, intelligence capability and compliance and investigations activities), we placed particular emphasis on the strategies used by the ATO to address the proliferation of chop-chop (Australian grown tobacco sold illicitly in a chopped up form for $80 to $100 per kilogram. In comparison, 50 grams of legal roll-you-own tobacco costs around $16 i.e. $320 per kilogram) in the Australian markets, as it is an area of major risk to tobacco excise revenue.
The audit reviewed Commonwealth National Parks involving total assets of $105 million with net operating costs of $41.77 million. Nineteen Commonwealth reserves are declared comprising six terrestrial national parks, one botanic garden and twelve marine parks and reserves totalling some 23 million hectares across Australia, its external territories and Commonwealth marine areas. The objective of the audit was to examine and report on the adequacy of the planning, management and reporting systems which support the Director of National Parks in the achievement of required functions under relevant legislation and agreed outputs and outcomes.
The 30 per cent Private Health Insurance Rebate is a financial incentive for individuals to purchase health insurance cover. The rebate provides for a reimbursement or discount of 30 per cent of the cost of private health insurance. It is available to all Australians who are eligible for Medicare and have private health insurance. The objective of the audit was to determine the effectiveness of Commonwealth Government agencies administration of the rebate.