Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Rise and Rise of David Allen

 “Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems."
- Scott Adams  ( via Worley Parsons CS)

A submission of note:

Generally, it is not beneficial for the Australian Economy for the banks to have such a large percentage of Australia’s cash and the legislation that protects them is too powerful. On the other hand, the legislation that protects Australians has been white-anted in a Sierpinski Triangle process that leaves this legislation looking like a Swiss cheese or a Sierpinski Triangle. There are too many agencies that are paid handsomely to ensure that the banks deliver Benefits to Australia and the Swiss cheese approach means that some aspects are not controlled at all. 

The Basel agreements should be redrafted to reflect the interests of resource-rich countries rather than just the interests of resource-poor powers. I am pleased Australia is starting to talk to sister countries such as Brazil and Canada. Additionally the US Federal Reserve is under pressure for several issues, with the alleged money laundering of $141.2B to Brussels being an example that has been widely reported. Colin Barnet has questioned the competency of people running our major corporations and I have been asking the same question for several years. Ross Gittens reports that the macro economists have replaced by lawyers.  

Consequently I support very few of the 44 Recommendations at this stage. As I reported in my 2014 G20 / David Murray submission, I take the royal command “It is your responsibility to look after your own money” very seriously.   

David Allen, B. Sc (Hons, Maths), MA (Management), technical IT-expert with a lot of experience in Financial Services in Europe and Australia, independent of all political parties and lobby-groups.

Epilogue : ATO SES reshuffle sees tech chief role booted down a rung

ATO assistant commissioner, international, David Allen, said a recently updated treaty with the Swiss had greatly increased their powers to hunt down individuals dodging tax. On top of this, the OECD and G20 are working on a common reporting standard that will see information held by banks and other financial institutions shared between tax authorities.

Mr Allen said the Tax Office would be undertaking its first information exchange with Swiss authorities under the new treaty on December 22nd, just days after the amnesty closes (on December 19).

"That first request is about a series of (five) high-wealth individuals that have we have concerns about and that we suspect may have a Swiss bank account," he said.

"We also have an informer via a treaty country that has given us a list of Australians with Swiss bank accounts. There's 122 names on the list. This is significant as its first time we've made a request for information and we are confident that they [Swiss authorities] will supply the information that we need. This is not a fishing expedition."

He said the agency had also separately been given information from a bank detailing 2000 Australians with accounts in Vanuatu. "We will use that to determine whether they are correctly reporting offshore income," he said.

The head of law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler, Mark Leibler, who advises the nation's wealthiest people and has made a number of lodgements on behalf of his clients for the amnesty, said it had been "incredibly successful".

"I think in the end, it will be what I had predicted, and there will be billions brought back [into the tax net]," Mr Leibler said. "There's been a last-minute spate of people who have lodged expressions of interest with my firm. A lot of them felt it was too good to be true."

Mr Leibler said the majority of clients had shares and money in Swiss bank accounts that had been sitting there for decades. Only a few had property offshore. Aside from Switzerland, he said other countries where income and assets were hidden included Hong Kong, Israel, Liechtenstein, the Bahamas and Panama. Per client, the amounts varied "from a couple of million of dollars to tens of millions - big amounts of money", he said.

ATO tax amnesty nets billions, but hunt for rich with secret Swiss accounts continues

David is currently acting Chief Service Delivery Officer. In this role, David leads the Service Delivery Group which is responsible for a broad range of the ATO's foundation services for all segments of the community.

These include processing all payments, activity statements, income tax returns, superannuation lodgments and other forms, as well as administering the Tax File Number register, Australian Business Register and registers held on behalf of the superannuation industry.

David joined the ATO in 2010 as an Assistant Commissioner in Public Groups & Internationals, working in Capital Gains Tax risk, Internationals and in 2016, was the ATO’s delegate to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) based in Paris.

In 2018 David was promoted to Deputy Commissioner and established the Enterprise Strategy and Design (ESD) business line which takes the leadership role in working with business areas to shape the ATO’s strategic direction, risk management, planning and reporting, internal audit and design.

Prior to joining the ATO, David held senior roles in different tiers of the public service including Commonwealth, United Kingdom, NSW and local government.

David has a degree in Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Australian Graduate School of Management.

Service Delivery Group Chief Service Delivery Officer - David Allen (acting)

David Allen

 David Allen Deputy Commissioner - Enterprise Strategy and Design, Australian Taxation Office

  • As Chief Service Delivery Officer at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), I lead the Service Delivery Group which plays a critical role in administering Australia’s tax and superannuation systems with 8,000 staff across 22 sites. 

    I am member of the ATO executive team and lead the Client Account Services teams, Lodge and Pay teams managing $40b Debt book and the Australian Business Register with an operating budget of approx $700m. Since commencing in the Australian Public Service in 2017 I have been given additional opportunities:

    Chair : ATO Security Committee (incl. Business Continuity Management and Cyber) 2017 - present

    Melinda Smith as at 18 June 2023 still showing as Second Commissioner …

    Melinda Smith Resigned in May 2023 

    Today we launched the ATO’s Annual Report for 2020-21. The report provides an excellent coverage of the work we did last year through extraordinary times. It also shows the breadth of our work across so many areas, and for the first time reports on the progress of our strategic initiatives. I encourage you to have a quick look.

    ‘I don't need to tell you what a monumental year 2020–21 was. It has been one of the biggest in the ATO's history’ 
    - Commissioner Chris Jordan

    Tax Office defends executive experience after top level shake-up 

    Tom McIlroyPolitical correspondent

    The Tax Office has defended the gender and experience of executives in its latest management shake-up, after a senior commissioner's retirement left its top ranks dominated by alumni of private sector advisory firms.

    Former second commissioner Neil Olesen'sdeparture saw the top three positions at the ATO filled by tax practitioners hailing from private sector advisory firms for the first time in its history.

    Former KPMG partner Jeremy Hirschhorn was elevated to acting second commissioner in November, after overseeing enforcement of tax compliance by large companies.

    Under Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan, the ATO says it has "a mix of public and private sector experience".  Alex Ellinghausen

    The move saw him join Commissioner of Taxation and former KPMG partner Chris Jordan, as well as former Greenwoods &Herbert Smith Freehills partner turned second commissioner, Andrew Mills, at the top of the ATO.

    The Australian Financial Review revealed that month that big business had hoped the installation of private sector tax experts would give top companies a more sympathetic hearing on tax disputes from the traditionally public-servant dominated ATO.

    In answers to a Senate committee, the ATO said it had an appropriate mix of private and public sector experience, noting it had an equal gender split at the executive level.

    Officials told Parliament that aside from Mr Jordan, the executive level comprised three male second commissioners, plus chief operating officer Jacqui Curtis and chief service delivery officer Melinda Smith.

    Ms Curtis previously held senior positions with the Department of Human Services and the Australian Public Service Commission, while Ms Smith spent 20 years in senior roles with the Woolworths group.

    Frances Cawthra, the chief finance officer, came to the ATO in 2005 from a private sector background in retail, energy and financial services. ..

    “Goldman Sachs’ chief information officer, Marco Argenti, recently encouraged his daughter, a college student, to concentrate her education on philosophy if she wants to pursue a career in engineering” — on why “some of Wall Street’s top tech execs and recruiters” are recommending software engineering students study philosophy, English, psychology, etc courtesy of B Curmi

    CODA: How Much Did Congress Lose By Defunding The IRS? Way More Than We Thought.