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1998-01-13 09:53:47


Australia's Tax Collector Is Facing Major Problems



The revenue service of Australia is facing the same kinds of problems that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is.

Not much news appears on the problems of tax collectors. This report is evidence that the problem is widespread.

This appeared in the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (Dec. 24).

* * * * * * * *

Federal Government operations and revenue collection are at risk from inadequate departmental preparations for the millennium bug.

An Australian National Audit Office report on progress in readying the Government's vast computer systems to prevent their failure because of the Year 2000 problem says few government departments are on track with their computer reprogramming.

It warns of serious disruptions to important national activities unless there is a significantly increased effort to address the millennium bug.

The report, made public yesterday, says there are "insufficient grounds to be confident about the ability of many agencies to achieve compliance without increasing their current Year 2000 effort". . . .

The report notes that the need for Government agencies to find the money for Year 2000 preparations from their existing budgets, and their focus on public sector reform, have pushed the Year 2000 problem down their list of priorities. . . .

Neither OGIT nor the minister responsible, the Minister for Finance and Administration John Fahey was available for comment yesterday.

OGIT's assistant secretary of strategic planning Anne Steward last month told a Senate estimates committee it was "too early to have an opinion" on whether agencies were on target with Year 2000 compliance work.


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