The ATO has a fulltime officer, Steve Dardo, posted in Jakarta. His objective is to support the Indonesian tax office (Directorate General of Taxes, DGT) to effectively administer tax and to facilitate joint projects between ATO & DGT. Steve works closely with the Australian Indonesian Partnership and Economic Governance (AIPEG), Foreign Affairs and Trade and other Australian government agencies to help Indonesia build a better future.
Indonesia, with a population of over 250 million, is facing many significant and complicated challenges. Over the next 10 years, the middle class (and number of tax payers) will rapidly expand from some 25 million to 125 million. Current legislation, business practises and IT systems are not equipped to handle this rapid growth. Combine this with poor taxpayer education, geographical challenges of operating across more than 17,000 islands and cultural issues, it is imperative that we help our largest neighbour administer tax effectively so it can support its own citizens in the future. Outlined below are some of the specific challenges and activities Steve Dardo is driving to support our colleagues in Indonesia.
The DGT and PPATK (the agency equivalent to AUSTRAC) rarely collaborate or share information with each other. ATO, AUSTRAC & AIPEG brought the DGT & PPATK together at a workshop to demonstrate how ATO/AUSTRAC work together and to share the Wickenby experience. At the conclusion of the workshop the DGT & PPATK agreed on 21 action items to move towards greater collaboration.
The Business Transformation Team in DGT just finished mapping over 500 business process over the last 2 years. Now they need to prioritise, analyse and redesign, however, they don't have the capability to undertake these tasks effectively. Our objective is help them develop and apply those capabilities to deliver some tangible improvements to DGT operations.
In the previous 18 months we sent 9 secondees from DGT to work in the ATO for 3 month periods in specialised areas including transfer pricing, data analytics, web development and contact centres. This activity is proving to be a very effective capability building tool because the secondees are bringing back and applying the skills and knowledge they acquired in the ATO. We really appreciate the time and effort invested by those ATO areas that are hosting the secondees. Over the next 12 months we hope to send another 8 secondees.
Over the years a number of DGT delegations have travelled to Australia to study various aspects of ATO operations. In 2016, we organised a delegation that consisted of representatives from 4 Indonesian government agencies to study 'co-design' and in particular the integrated tax design between ATO and Treasury. The ATO & Treasury hosts in Australia did a fantastic job of highlighting the benefits of co-design. Since this trip the DGT have applied the co-design methodology on a number of occasions.