Our staff add value to public sector effectiveness and the independent assurance of public sector administration and accountability, applying our professional and technical leadership to have a real impact on real issues.
This audit would examine the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) and the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) regulation of illegal phoenix activity.
Phoenix activity refers to the evasion of tax and other liabilities, such as employee entitlements, through the deliberate, systematic and sometimes cyclical liquidation of related corporate trading entities. This generally occurs through an indebted company transferring its assets into a new company to avoid paying creditors, tax or employee entitlements. Those assets are then used by the new company to continue the business activities of the indebted company. In 2012, a Fair Work Ombudsman report noted that there is a significant lack of data collection in relation to phoenix activity, and estimated the total impact of phoenix activity to be between $1.78 billion and $3.19 billion each year.
ASIC and the ATO collaborate with other entities (including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman) through the Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum to share intelligence and identify, design and implement cross-entity strategies to reduce and deter phoenix activity.
This audit would examine the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation’s (ARPC’s) administration of the Terrorism Reinsurance Scheme.
ARPC, which was established in response to the terrorist events of 11 September 2001 and subsequent global withdrawal of insurance, provides cover for eligible terrorism losses. Eligible losses can involve commercial property, associated business interruption losses and public liability. Through the Terrorism Reinsurance Scheme, insurance companies can reinsure the risk of terrorism losses by paying premiums to ARPC. Insurers are required to meet these claims in accordance with the terms and conditions of individual policies, with claims against the scheme met once an individual insurance company’s risk retention is exhausted. ARPC’s pool of retained earnings is to be used to fund the payment of eligible claims until co-reinsurance thresholds are reached and accessed, after which claims will be met by Commonwealth guarantee. The total value of the scheme is over $13 billion.
This audit would examine the implementation of the Farm Management Deposits Scheme by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office. The audit would include an assessment of the extent to which objectives of the scheme are being achieved.
The scheme, which was established in 1999, aims to assist primary producers to deal more effectively with fluctuations in cash flows by allowing eligible primary producers to set aside pre-tax income in years of high income, which can be drawn upon in future years. Deposits are tax deductible in the year they are made, and included as taxable income in the year they are withdrawn. Deposits must remain in the account for at least 12 months, unless the withdrawal is made in exceptional circumstances. On 1 July 2016, the following changes were made to the operation of the scheme: the cap on deposits was doubled from $400 000 to $800 000; an early trigger during times of drought was re-established; and deposits can be used to offset the interest costs on primary production business debt. The total holdings in the scheme were $4.35 billion at 31 May 2017.
The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) and Treasury’s management of compliance with foreign investment obligations for residential real estate.
The objective of the audit is to assess whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has established effective risk management arrangements to support the implementation of the Statistical Business Transformation Program.