Occupational health and safety

The IGT office fosters and maintains a safe and healthy working environment in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991. During 2010–11, the IGT received no accident and incident reports. No notices were given under sections 29, 46 and 47 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives the general public legal access to government documents. The former section 8 of the FOI Act (in effect until 30 April 2011) requires the annual report to contain certain information including the functions, organisation and decision-making powers of the IGT. The required information is contained in the body of this annual report. On 1 May 2011, the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) commenced. In response, the IGT published on its website a range of information including the agency’s structure, functions, appointments and consultation arrangements. An agency plan detailing the information published in accordance with the IPS requirements is accessible from www.igt.gov.au.

Arrangements for outside participation

A specific performance indicator for the IGT is broad-based community involvement in the identification of systemic issues in the administration of tax laws. As stated in Part 2, the IGT has chosen to widely consult with the community in setting his work program. The IGT also engages in consultation to develop advice to the Government. By being fully informed of the effects of findings and recommendations, the IGT can better advise the Government on how the administration of the tax laws may be improved and minimise any unintended consequences. Consultation is most effective when stakeholders respect each other’s input and collaborate to develop workable solutions. However, consultation will not always result in consensus amongst stakeholders. The IGT takes a number of different approaches to liaison and consultation. Consultations on the work program of the IGT may be broad, such as written submissions responding to terms of reference and/or submission guidelines for a review, or targeted, such as roundtable discussions with a small number of stakeholders or individual meetings with stakeholders. When engaging in community consultation, the IGT: seeks to involve an appropriate range of stakeholders in consultations; ensures all participants have an opportunity to contribute to the consultation; endeavours to provide realistic timeframes for participants to contribute; acknowledges, respects and seeks to understand the views of participants, providing feedback on those views where possible; appreciates and maintains the confidential nature of discussions with stakeholders; and, provides advice to the Government that leads to the improved administration of the tax laws for the benefit of all taxpayers.

Categories of documents held by the IGT

The following categories of documents are held by the IGT office:

  • correspondence and working papers, including formal submissions, notes of meetings and files relating to a review;
  • correspondence and databases used by staff for the purposes of communication with persons and organisations related to the general operations of the IGT office;
  • correspondence and working papers relating to the administration of the IGT office, including personal records, organisation and staffing records, financial and expenditure records, advice and internal operations such as office procedures and instructions; and
  • reference material, including press clippings and research papers.

Every six months the IGT also publishes an indexed list of files at www.igt.gov.au.

Documents open to public access

A detailed listing of IGT documents published during the year, such as reports, terms of reference, submission guidelines and annual reports, is available at www.igt.gov.au. The IGT has a policy of publishing all new terms of reference and submission guidelines on the IGT’s website at the time of release. All reports to Government will also be placed on the IGT’s website following the release of the report by the Minister or the tabling of the report in both Houses of Parliament.

Facilities for access of documents

If a member of the public requests a document and the IGT approves access, the IGT will provide copies of documents after the applicant pays any processing charges. Members of the public are also able to obtain access to available documents, by arrangement, at: Level 19, 50 Bridge Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

Freedom of Information applications and initial contact points

Initial enquiries regarding access to IGT documents should be directed in writing through email at FOI@igt.gov.au or via post to: Freedom of Information Inspector-General of Taxation GPO Box 551 SYDNEY NSW 2001 Procedures for dealing with Freedom of Information requests are detailed in section 15 of the FOI Act. A valid request must:

  • be in writing;
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act;
  • provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary for the IGT to identify it; and
  • give details of how notices under the FOI Act may be sent to the applicant (such as by email).

A valid request is to be processed within 30 days unless:

  • the subject matter is more closely connected to another agency which may result in transfer to the relevant or appropriate agency;
  • third party consultations are required, in which case an additional 30 days may be added;
  • the applicant agrees to additional time for the processing of the request;
  • additional time is requested from the Australian Information Commissioner in cases of complex or voluminous requests; or
  • a decision has been made to impose charges.

There is no application fee for an FOI request. Processing charges may apply to requests other than for documents containing only personal information. Some documents are exempt from public perusal under the FOI Act. Where documents are not accessible by the applicant, valid reasons will be provided. Applicants are able to request for a review by the IGT office of a decision regarding the accessibility of documents. Such requests should be made within 30 days of receipt of the original decision by the applicant. Application can also be made to the Australian Information Commissioner for a review of certain decisions. Information about this process can be found at www.oaic.gov.au. Decisions made by the Australian Information Commissioner may be appealed through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Freedom of Information activity

The IGT received no requests for access to documents under the FOI Act in 2010–11.

Advertising and market research

Advertising costs for the IGT’s work program, review submission request and recruitment announcements during 2010–11 totalled $37,473 (GST inclusive). Particulars of payments of more than $11,500 (GST inclusive) are set out below.

Table 8: Advertising

(as at 30 June 2011)

Table 8: Advertising (as at 30 June 2011)

Note: these figures include GST.

No market research activities were undertaken during 2010–11.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The IGT office actively pursues measures to improve its overall environmental performance. Timer switches control all general lighting in the office. The owner of the leased office premises has active energy, waste management and water conservation strategies. The IGT recycles paper and cardboard products.

Discretionary grants

No discretionary grant programs are administered by the IGT.

List of requirements

       
Part of Report Description Requirement Page(s)
  Letter of transmittal Mandatory iii
  Table of contents Mandatory v–vi
  Index Mandatory 90–91
  Glossary Mandatory 88
  Contact officer(s) Mandatory ii
  Internet home page address and Internet address for report Mandatory ii
Review by Secretary    
  Review by departmental secretary Mandatory 1–15
  Summary of significant issues and developments Suggested 1–15
  Overview of department’s performance and financial results Suggested 1–15
  Outlook for following year Suggested 10–12
  Significant issues and developments — portfolio Portfolio departments — suggested N/A
Departmental Overview    
  Role and functions Mandatory 16
  Organisational structure Mandatory 18
  Outcome and program structure Mandatory 17
  Where outcome and program structures differ from PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements accompanying any other additional appropriation bills (other portfolio statements), details of variation and reasons for change Mandatory N/A
  Portfolio structure Mandatory for portfolio departments N/A
Report on Performance    
  Review of performance during the year in relation to programs and contribution to outcomes Mandatory 21–29
  Actual performance in relation to deliverables and KPIs set out in PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements Mandatory 21–29
  Where performance targets differ from the PBS/ PAES, details of both former and new targets, and reasons for the change Mandatory N/A
  Narrative discussion and analysis of performance Mandatory 21–29
  Trend information Mandatory 21–29
  Performance of purchaser/ provider arrangements If applicable, suggested N/A
  Significant changes in nature of principal functions/ services Suggested N/A
  Factors, events or trends influencing departmental performance Suggested 21–29
  Contribution of risk management in achieving objectives Suggested 32–34
  Social inclusion outcomes If applicable, mandatory N/A
  Performance against service charter customer service standards, complaints data, and the department’s response to complaints If applicable, mandatory N/A
  Discussion and analysis of the department’s financial performance Mandatory 29
  Discussion of any significant changes from the prior year or from budget. Suggested N/A
  Agency resource statement and summary resource tables by outcomes Mandatory 19 –20
  Developments since the end of the financial year that have affected or may significantly affect the department’s operations or financial results in future If applicable, mandatory N/A
Management Accountability    
Corporate Governance    
  Agency heads are required to certify that their agency comply with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. Mandatory iii
  Statement of the main corporate governance practices in place Mandatory 31–32
  Names of the senior executive and their responsibilities Suggested 18, 31
  Senior management committees and their roles Suggested 31–32
  Corporate and operational planning and associated performance reporting and review Suggested 32–34
  Approach adopted to identifying areas of significant financial or operational risk Suggested 32–34
  Policy and practices on the establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards Suggested 34
  How nature and amount of remuneration for SES officers is determined Suggested 36–37, 68–69
External Scrutiny    
  Significant developments in external scrutiny Mandatory 35
  Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals Mandatory 35
  Reports by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary Committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman Mandatory 35
Management of Human Resources    
  Assessment of effectiveness in managing and developing human resources to achieve departmental objectives Mandatory 35–38
  Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention Suggested 37
  Impact and features of enterprise or collective agreements, individual flexibility arrangements (IFAs), determinations, common law contracts and AWAs Suggested 36–37
  Training and development undertaken and its impact Suggested 37
  Occupational health and safety performance Suggested 79
  Productivity gains Suggested N/A
  Statistics on staffing Mandatory 37–38
  Enterprise or collective agreements, IFAs, determinations, common law contracts and AWAs Mandatory 36
  Performance pay Mandatory 36
  Assessment of effectiveness of assets management If applicable, mandatory 38
  Assessment of purchasing against core policies and principles Mandatory 38
  The annual report must include a summary statement detailing the number of new consultancy services contracts let during the year; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts let during the year (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were active in the reporting year; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST). The annual report must include a statement noting that information on contracts and consultancies is available through the AusTender website. Mandatory 39
  Absence of provisions in contracts allowing access by the Auditor-General Mandatory 39
  Contracts exempt from the AusTender Mandatory 39
  Financial Statements Mandatory 41–77
Other Mandatory Information    
  Occupational health and safety (section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991) Mandatory 79
  Freedom of information for the period 1 July 2010 to 30 April 2011 inclusive (see terms of subsection 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 as it existed prior to 1 May 2011) Mandatory 79–82
  Advertising and Market Research (Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918) and statement on advertising campaigns Mandatory 83
  Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance (Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Mandatory 83
  Grant programs Mandatory 83
  Disability reporting — explicit and transparent reference to agency-level information available through other reporting mechanisms Mandatory 40
  Correction of material errors in previous annual report If applicable, mandatory N/A
  List of Requirements Mandatory 84–87

Glossary

   
   
Activities The actions/functions performed by agencies to deliver government policies.
Appropriation An amount of public money that Parliament authorises for spending (that is, funds to be withdrawn from the CRF). Parliament makes laws for appropriating money under the Annual Appropriation Acts and under Special Appropriations, with spending restricted to the purposes specified in the Appropriation Acts.
Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) The principal operating fund from which money is drawn to pay for the activities of the Government. Section 81 of the Australian Constitution provides that all revenue raised or monies received by the Executive Government forms one consolidated revenue fund from which appropriations are made for the purposes of the Australian Government.
Corporate Governance The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.
Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) The FMA Act sets out the financial management, accountability and audit obligations of agencies (including Departments) that are financially part of the Commonwealth (and form part of the General Government Sector). A list of FMA Act agencies can befound at: www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/fma-legislation/fma-agencies.html.
Operations Functions, services and processes performed in pursuing the objectives or discharging the functions of an agency.
Outcomes Review by departmental secretary
Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) Budget related papers detailing budget initiatives and explanations of appropriations specified by outcome and program by each agency within a portfolio.

Acronyms

AASB
Australian Accounting Standards Board
AATSI
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
AEIFRs
Australian Equivalents International Financial Reporting Standards
ANAO
Australian National Audit Office
AGS
Australian Government Solicitor
APS
Australian Public Service
ASIO
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
ATO
Australian Taxation Office
CEI
Chief Executive Instructions
EL1
Executive Level 1
EL2
Executive Level 2
ESL
English as a Second Language
FOI
Freedom of Information
GST
Goods and Services Tax
IFRSs
International Financial Reporting Standards
IGT
Inspector-General of Taxation
IRS
Internal Revenue Service
IT
Information Technology
SAP
Substituted Accounting Period
SES
Senior Executive Service
SLA
Service Level Agreement