Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Okay so the ATO report is comprehensive. Can we see it?

So comprehensive is the Inspector General of Taxation’s report into last year’s Tax Office computer meltdown the Assistant Treasurer says he needs still more time before releasing it.

Inspector General Ali Noroozi revealed yesterday the report is the only one of the five he prepared last year not to have seen the light of day.

Delivered to Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten on December 3, it was ordered as a pre-election quick fix to a problem that saw more than one million returns delayed, computers unable to talk to each other and refund letters sent out without refund cheques.

Punctilious about not revealing what is in the report, Mr Noroozi expressed frustration while unveiling his future work program, saying Mr Shorten could have released it when he received it...

The Assistant Treasurer can legally wait until July 6. In February his office said it would be out "in the not too distant future".

Yesterday in the first hint that the report was substantial a spokesman said it was a large and comprehensive and required further consideration.

Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo has already seen the report. At a Senate hearing earlier this year he declined to answer when asked whether the Inspector General had treated him fairly, saying that was "for others to judge".

A spokesman for the Assistant Treasurer said he would table the report "in the not too distant future".

The new program of inquiries will cover income tax self assessment, the ATO’s use of benchmarking to target the cash economy and the ATO’s e small and medium enterprise audit and risk review

Mr Noroozi will hold off investigating Project Wickenby until he has seen the results of an Audit Office review.

Published in today's Age

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