The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has sought to defend the security of its administration and systems in the face of the controversy around an alleged $165 million tax fraud which has seen an ATO deputy commissioner, Michael Cranston, served with a court attendance notice.
The acting Commissioner of Taxation, Andrew Mills reacted to news of the scandal by given a reassurance about the underlying security and operations of the ATO and noting that the tax office had been working with the Australian Federal Policy over “many months” on the issue.
“The investigation has so far not revealed any evidence of actual intervention or influence on audit cases, or of money being refunded, or of tax liability being changed,” Mills said. “The information I have to date shows no compromise of the operations of our administration.”
“Our systems, controls and procedures worked effectively and we have been able to successfully isolate and protect the investigation, working well with the AFP over many months to build a picture of what has been happening.”
“I have commissioned APS Code of Conduct investigations into a very small number of other employees and we will be forensic in our examination of what has occurred. The people being investigated have been suspended without pay,” Mills said.
“I cannot overstate the seriousness of these matters – Australians must have a tax administration they can trust and the people of the ATO must be of utmost integrity and good judgment. This is even more important for those in leadership positions; I expect our officers not only to follow, but to champion and role model the APS Values and Code of Conduct.”