ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
ED HUSIC, SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
AGAIN. THE ATO SYSTEMS CRASHED AGAIN.
Yesterday critical ATO systems went down. Again. For at least the 14th time since December 2016.
Important tax office systems have now crashed so often it’s hardly a surprise to hear of another – but it isn’t good enough for the government to continually allow important online functions to be taken down for so long.
This outage was reportedly first experienced at 11.30am and the myTax service was still offline at 4.30pm. This is unacceptable.
The Turnbull Government – and its peak digital agency, the DTA - has overseen a litany of embarrassing tech wrecks, perhaps none as drawn out and futile as their management of the failing ATO systems.
ATO systems have been crashing since at least December last year and have occurred repeatedly right through to this years’ tax time.
These system outages prevent tax agents and citizens from completing important interactions with the tax office, yet government ministers have not been up front and explained what has gone wrong and what will be done to fix it.
The months after the end of the financial year are extremely important for tax agents and superannuation companies especially, and their work should not be regularly interrupted by the government’s failure to manage its systems.
Tax agents and accountants have a right to be furious at the Turnbull Government for their failure to act and fix these problems, as well as a lack of information about what has gone wrong.
The ATO admitted there were 10 outages between January and June this year, but that number doesn’t include the major crashes in December 2016 or multiple crashes since the beginning of July this year.
In July the ATO launched an investigation into the outages but there has been no public report outlining the failures and what they’ve done to prevent further ones for almost 10 months since the original crashes occurred.
The Turnbull Government has been missing in action on this and should take full responsibility for an ongoing failure that can only lead to reduced public trust in the ability of the government to deliver digital services.
Which minister will step up and tell the Australian public what caused the failures, what has been done to fix them and stop them happening again?