ATO tech woes continue

Rocky performance expected as work on restoring systems continues

Australian Taxation Office assistant commissioner Colin Walker has warned tax professionals that the ATO’s tech woes are set to continue.

Key ATO services went down yesterday, with the agency confirming that the problems are linked to a widespread outage in December. The December events are now subject to both an internal ATO investigation and an ATO-commissioned review by PwC.

“Specialist ATO and HPE technicians have worked through the night to restore our systems and online services,” Walker wrote in a message to tax professionals.

“While there has been significant progress on their restoration plan, the process is highly complex.”

The ATO said its website is working “intermittently”.

In an updated statement released at 2.05pm AEDT, the ATO said: “HPE have deployed their global resources to restore the ATO systems and the associated infrastructure. Once this restoration is complete, our staff will work to make ATO services available for the community.

“Work will continue around the clock with an immediate focus on restoring priority services – the portals, the practitioner lodgment service (PLS), ATO online, the Australian Business Register (ABR), Standard Business Reporting (SBR) and Superannuation online services,” Walker wrote.

“The performance of different systems may vary as this restoration process is undertaken,” the assistant commissioner said.

No data has been lost during the outage, according to the ATO.

The December outage was caused by the failure of an HP Enterprise storage system, with both the primary and backup systems affected.

The PwC review is expected to be finalised in March.

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