The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has confirmed Linux users will finally have access to its AUSkey authentication software within two months, following compatibility complaints in May when the service was launched for Windows and Mac OS X only.
The initiative comprises the use of an encrypted software key for the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) scheme launched this year, and seeks to save time dealing with up to 12 state and Federal government agencies for financial reporting and to access services.
The key replaces the need to separately log into online government services with a username and password, and is integrated into commercial software to provide businesses with a point of access to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) portals, its electronic commerce interface, and the Australian Business Register.
A spokesperson from the ATO confirmed the timeframe of the integration with Computerworld Australia.
“We are working to allow integration with the Ubuntu flavour of Linux [and] this updgrade is scheduled for release before Christmas,” the spokesperson said.
AUSkey registrations have more than doubled since July, with a total of 197,334 registrations representing 127,222 businesses or ABN holders, since the initiative launched on 17 May this year.
According to the ATO spokesperson, the takeup of the AUSkey initiative has exceeded expectations.
“We consulted heavily with varied representatives of the Australian business community in the design phase of the AUSkey project, to determine a design that would satisfy the balance between ease of use and security in their eyes,” they said.
“We used the feedback in our co-design process to shape the key features of AUSkey from the beginning."
Currently, State Revenue Offices (SRO) in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania accept AUSkey for login to each website, and the ATO claims other SROs and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have plans to follow within the financial year.
Additionally, the ATO confirmed the AUSkey service will now be accepted by Centrelink for its new Paid Parental Leave services which have been introduced this month.