Modernising its IT outsourcing portfolio by developing market-aligned and more flexible bundles.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced it will be approaching the market for a significant range of IT managed services.
The ATO is the Australian government’s principal revenue collection agency managing and shaping tax, excise and superannuation systems that fund services for the country. It also supports the delivery of community benefits, with roles in private health insurance, family assistance and cross-agency support.
Ramez Katf CIO at ATO said the ATO’s IT Strategic Sourcing Program is about modernising its IT outsourcing portfolio by developing market-aligned and more flexible bundles, building on the successful delivery of six new Managed Network Services contracts in 2020.
“Consistent with the Whole of Government agenda, our aim is to provide greater opportunities for competition, delivering better value for money for the Australian community,” Katf said.
The ATO will soon be approaching the market in relation to the following three managed services, plus any ancillary services:
- Centralised Computing
- End User Technology, and
- Enterprise Service Management Centre
The ATO’s multi-year IT Strategic Sourcing Program includes market sounding and analysis over 2021, a progressive approach to market in 2022 and then contract execution, transition, and service transformation in 2023.
“This is a reshape of how we get these services into the organisation. The technology ecosystem continues to evolve, and our outsourcing model needs to adapt and become future ready,” Katf said.
The ATO anticipates issuing one or more Requests for Information (RFIs) in June 2021 and will seek strategic dialogue with the market to inform bundle structure, scope, commercials, pricing approaches and procurement strategy; with a focus on what the IT ecosystem will look like from 2023.
Recently the ATO and the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) are focused on measures to intercept attempted identity fraud targeted at registered tax practitioners and their clients. New guidelines will strengthen and modernise the practices and controls that registered tax practitioners follow when verifying the identity of their clients.
The ATO has seen an increase in attempts by criminals to commit refund fraud by stealing the identities of taxpayers which has coincided with an increased reliance on technology and remote working practices. Having your identity compromised can have devastating financial consequences.
A lack of consistency to verifying the identity of clients has left individual tax practitioners vulnerable to attack. Practices that retain client identity documents insecurely are also at greater risk of having these documents stolen through physical break-ins.
The ATO’s draft guidance encourages tax practitioners to voluntarily start adopting the new client verification standard immediately, with the view for the standards to become compulsory in the future following an initial transition period and further consultation with the tax profession.