A3.1 As noted in Chapter 1, the ATO’s IQF assesses case work according to nine ‘quality elements’. These are explained below.
- Administrative Soundness is concerned with assuring ATO products and processes comply with administrative law requirements, principles and policy, meet internal and community standards of conduct and will be able to withstand external scrutiny.
- Integrity is a measure of ATO ethical standards and how they are applied in ATO products, processes and decisions. It is a measure of ATO relationships with taxpayers and the wider community and how well the ATO conforms to the Taxpayers’ Charter principles. The level of integrity is thought to shape community confidence in the tax system.
- Correctness is concerned with ensuring that decisions and/or actions comply with the ATO view.
- Appropriateness to taxpayers’ requirements and circumstances involves ensuring that the ATO understands taxpayers’ situations, identifies all their issues, and responds to them clearly in a manner they understand and which addresses their needs.
- Effectiveness relates to the extent to which ATO decision making processes have supported ATO strategy and vision, positively impacted on the risks associated with the product or client relationship and have enhanced the taxpayer experience.
- Transparency is concerned with ensuring the ATO is open and honest in its actions, that its processes and decisions are accessible and that explanations are accurate and clear on their face that inform clients of their review rights.
- Consistency provides assurance that the ATO will treat taxpayers and taxpayer groups in an equivalent fashion when presented with similar circumstances, whilst recognising that the ATO can legitimately differentiate to take account of individual factors. Consistency is measured in respect of ATO decision making processes and practices as well as in ATO decisions.
- Timeliness relates to the appropriateness and efficiency of the processes and interactions within the cycle time of the case or product output. In the context of decisions, timeliness relates to ATO ability to promptly provide advice, decisions, outputs or results.
- Efficiency of decision making processes is concerned with ensuring appropriate use is made of ATO resources and that positive outcomes are reached in the most expeditious and cost-effective manner.