ATO hands IBM $107M deal to keep reporting platform running

ATO hands IBM $107M deal to keep reporting platform running

Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is a standard approach to online or digital record-keeping

Credit: Dreamstime

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has granted IBM a fresh three-year contract worth $107 million for the ongoing development and support of the federal government’s Standard Business Reporting platform. 

Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is the approach to online or digital record-keeping that was introduced by the government in 2010 to simplify business reporting obligations.

SBR is built into business and accounting software, making it SBR-enabled and allows businesses to significantly reduce the time spent collating information, filling in forms and submitting reports to the government.

The ATO, being the government's principal revenue collection agency, has a large number of SBR-enabled services available and is bringing more online regularly.

Broadly, the SBR platform enables more efficient and streamlined services for Australian businesses, such as Single Touch Payroll, JobKeeper and superannuation reporting. 

The SBR channel was built by IBM specifically for the ATO and leverages IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, IBM MQ and IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale technologies which together provide a secure, scalable channel that allows businesses to communicate directly with the ATO.

Under the $107 million contract, which commenced at the beginning of October 2020, the SBR platform’s cloud native capability will be focused to support the bulk transactions that run through the platform.

These now comprise more than one billion such transactions taking place between the ATO, businesses and superannuation funds each year in Australia. 

“It’s our focus for the SBR platform to continue to support innovation and improve the current platform by enabling streamlined services to increase the resiliency and robustness of the SBR platform,” Katrina Troughton, IBM A/NZ managing director, said. 

“IBM welcomes the opportunity to support the ATO and to continue to grow and build diverse teams that are working across all of our projects.” 

“IBM is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the government's economic stimulus agenda and pandemic response in such a critical yet practical way,” she added. 

It is understood that the contract is the first signed by IBM Australia with a federal government agency under the newly updated Indigenous Procurement Policy, which took effect on 1 July 2020 and mandates that at least 4 per cent of employees who work on the project be of Indigenous background.

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