Independent review of ATO outage begins

PwC to lead review, which is due to be finalised in March

The Australian Taxation Office has appointed PwC to conduct an independent review into the dramatic system outage that took down key ATO services for several days in December.

Core ATO systems were rendered unusable after an HP Enterprise SAN failed and the agency’s backup storage system didn’t automatically kick in. The repercussions of the outage are still being felt, with ATO services being taken offline for maintenance twice this year and at least one minor unplanned outage.

Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan announced last year that the ATO would commission an “end to end” review of the outage.

The ATO said today that PwC had been appointed to conduct the review because of its “specific expertise with the ICT storage that is at the centre of the incident”.

“The review will help us to fully understand what happened and why, and what needs to be done to ensure we are not exposed to this type of incident in future,” the agency said in a statement.

The review is due to be finalised in March.

The ATO is also conducting an internal review that it said would focus on its key stakeholders, including tax professionals and software developers.

“All of our external facing client systems and portals have been restored and are operational. We do not anticipate any further outages in the short term,” the ATO said.

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