A.2.1 The focus of this review has been to systematically verify the level of implementation of recommendations from the previous six reviews released by the Inspector-General.190 The period of time required to complete this review has arisen because of the size of the task which has involved the analysis and testing of 73 recommendations and findings. Fieldwork was undertaken at Tax Office sites throughout the country on 37 occasions which included the accessing of Tax Office systems and procedures as well as numerous taxpayer files.
A.2.2 As part of this follow-up review process, the Tax Office provided the Inspector-General with a considerable amount of supplementary information explaining the operation of its systems and procedures. A thorough review of this information was undertaken by the Inspector-General in order to appreciate the environment within which the Tax Office operates. This work in turn enabled more informed identification of areas requiring further attention in terms of the recommendations and findings.
A.2.3 Although there was no issue regarding access to information throughout the duration of the review, there still remained a number of occasions upon which the Tax Office simply did not have the appropriate levels of reporting required to directly address points raised by the Inspector-General. On occasion these shortfalls in reporting made it difficult for timely analysis to be undertaken by the Inspector-General. Throughout the course of the review, the Tax Office has referred to the Change Program as a means by which such shortfalls are being addressed. The Inspector-General recognises the size of the Change Program but also observes that not all of the above-mentioned shortfalls are attributable to the program.
A.2.4 A welcome aspect of this review has been the general willingness of the Tax Office to work with the Inspector-General’s office to make changes to some of its implementation work in order to demonstrate an implemented or partly implemented status. This was a very satisfactory and cooperative process and has been facilitated with the deployment of senior executive Tax Office staff to ensure that assistance has been appropriately provided.
190 Up until the announcement of this review on 29 June 2006.