Wednesday, November 29, 2023

ATO slips from top spot in public trust ranking

Process and outcome-related complaints were cited as reasons for a decline in trust and satisfaction in the Tax Office compared to other agencies

The ATO ranked second out of 17 public services in the government

Trust in Australian Public Services: 2023 Annual Report with a score of 81 per cent, down from 82 per cent in 2022, when the survey was first conducted.
The Australian Electoral Commission, a new inclusion in the ranking, came top with a 91 per cent trust score while Centrelink ranked lowest at 63 per cent.
General trust in public services remained stable year-on-year at 61 per cent according to the report, which comprises monthly surveys of over 1,000 people from July 2022 to June 2023.
Submitting a personal tax return was the most common reason for people to access a public service in the past 12 months, the report found. Financial hardship affected 27 per cent of respondents over the past year, prompting a quarter of them to use public services.
Around three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents who accessed public services reported being satisfied with them, the report said, with trust and satisfaction existing in a “feedback loop”.
“When people are satisfied with the services they receive, it builds their trust. When people are trusting, there is more institutional legitimacy and compliance with public services. When people interact with services this way, they are more likely to have satisfactory experiences,” it said.
Overall user satisfaction in public services fell one point to 72 per cent. The AEC ranked first at 87 per cent and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations ranked last, with only 56 per cent of people being satisfied with its services.
The ATO recorded a two-point drop down to a pre-pandemic low of 79 per cent, placing it joint second and level with Parks Australia and Medicare.
Most users accessed the ATO through its website (61 per cent) although 16 per cent used non-digital channels. Users were also concentrated in metropolitan regions (69 per cent) compared to regional regions (29 per cent) and people aged between 35 to 64 accessed the ATO the most.
The report said the ATO’s respectful staff (82 per cent) and provision of accurate information (85 per cent satisfaction rating) drove satisfaction ratings, but users were less satisfied with factors relating to “process and outcomes”.
Wait times for outcomes (73 per cent), not being kept informed of progress (69 per cent) and the availability of feedback avenues to report their experiences (67 per cent) were the lowest-ranked factors.