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WA Treasury inches closer to tax modernisation

WA Treasury inches closer to tax modernisation

Shared services model adopted, praised, loved

The Western Australian Department of Treasury and Finance has claimed success in implementing key projects across the past year as it looks to fully modernise its revenues, tax and shared services systems by 2013.

According to its annual report for the 2009/2010 financial year, the government will finalise a roll out of Oracle e-Business systems by mid-2012, seeing a total of 90 agencies gain access to the shared services platform. A total of 14 agencies were rolled in during the past year, with plans to roll in a further 20 agencies across 2010-2011. The systems, focussed around project operations and shared services, are expected to enable whole-of-government industrial awards, the first of which were completed and implemented over the past year.

“We also made substantial progress with the planning and building of remaining awards which are expected to be complete by the end of 2010,” the report reads.

The Oracle system has also been implemented to allow for greater claims of allowances and reimbursements, customer service and support improvements, efficiency improvements in the whole-of-government data centres and greater access to remote functionality from web-based portals.

An independent modernisation of internal tax systems, underway since 2008, will also utilise Oracle-based systems to improve efficiencies in assessing and collecting taxes and duties, disburse grants, subsidies and rebates. User acceptance testing with approximately 60 staff saw the new systems approved and implemented across the year.

The modernised revenue systems also saw the implementation of web-based tax calculators for first home buyers.

The Western Australian revenue office became one of the first state-based tax agencies to provide Standard Business Reporting functionality on 1 July this year, joining the Australian Tax Office and other federal revenue offices, while also leapfrogging its equivalents in NSW, ACT and Queensland which will join the program by June next year. The state revenue office remained unsure take-up would justify the program, but indicated its utilisation remained reliant on the availability of the program through accounting software.

The state’s continued moves to shared services come as other states move away from the concept, in light of several failed IT projects in that vein.

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