Thursday, 26 April 2018 Sydney

Commissioner's statement - ATO systems::

Claims made in today’s media that Tax Time 2017 is under threat due to our recent system outages are completely without foundation.

We are absolutely confident that taxpayers will be able to lodge their returns and receive refunds on time from 1 July.

It is disappointing that some people are trying to create unnecessary mischief during what has already been a challenging and testing time for the community and the ATO. This is very unfortunate as it undermines the commitment and good work that our people have undertaken to return ATO services to normal operation and bring them back online as quickly and reliably as possible.

Initial indications are there has been a failure by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to provide contracted services in a reliable way and ensure stability of our systems. The cause of the failures will be informed by the review led by PwC that I commissioned after the first outage in December 2016. As I said at that time, I want to know what happened in forensic detail so that we can assure the community they will not face this kind of disruption in their dealings with us, that businesses who rely on our services can go about running their business without interruption.

I can assure the community that we are taking this seriously and it has the highest priority. I have already met a number of times with the most senior HPE representatives in the region and corresponded with their CEO to ensure they are aware of the disruption and damage this kind of event causes and remind them of their contractual arrangements.

Our immediate priority is to provide stable services to the community, business, our key stakeholders and government.

Our ATO technicians are working with HPE’s global team of experts to fully replace the affected hardware. This ongoing work will ensure we can meet the deliverables for the Government’s legislative agenda and our priority services that support the community’s engagement with the tax and super systems.

We are committed to offering contemporary and reliable services to the community. The development and release of many new service offerings under our Reinvention program have not contributed to these system outages. Initial indications are that the outages have been caused by faulty hardware.

I commit to you we will get to the bottom of this, fix it for the longer term and maintain contemporary and reliable services to the community.