Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Searching for Truth

Noel Towell’s article contains a number of inaccuracies.The ATO is restricted from commenting publicly about matters before the courts or disclosing information about former ATO employees and investigations into their conduct.However, we can correct a number of inaccuracies in the article.1. The search warrant was properly issued by a magistrate and executed by the Australian Federal Police with two ATO staff members attending as well as forensic officers and naval police. Evidence was found.2.The investigation was not launched on a ‘hunch’ - the ATO provided evidence that met the Australian Government Investigations Standard to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). The CDPP independently made a decision that the evidence was robust enough to lay charges.3. Mr Setter has not always denied wrongdoing. Mr Setter has pleaded guilty to four counts of unauthorised access to taxpayer information and is scheduled to face court in January 2014.4. There has been no review into the ATO’s fraud prevention and internal investigations branch. The ATO is yet to receive the final Ombudsman’s report and consider any recommendations. The comments in the article are not from the final report.As a trusted government agency, we work hard to ensure the public is not misled about how we deal with matters as serious as this. This includes working cooperatively with journalists to ensure correct and balanced articles are reported.Fact Finding Mission;

Social Media and Respect
A TAX worker has been jailed after funding a “luxury lifestyle” through a £160,000 Christmas savings club scam.

UK - Tax officer jailed after scamming colleagues pension funds

ATO officer Darryl Adams was punished and senior departmental officials apologised to anti-pornography  campaigner Melinda Tankard-Reist over a Tweet public servant Darryl Adams sent from his “fake Paul Keating” account in January 2012 

Richard Ridings