With parliament on break and the Matildas playing football, there wasn’t a lot of Canberra news. But what we do have is dominated by incompetence at both the ATO and Services Australia.
Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 11 August.
- “The Tax Office has admitted paying out more than $1.6 billion in fake GST claims as part of a $4.6 billion fraud based on a simple scheme promoted on social media platform TikTok — a total that is twice previous reports and the biggest tax fraud in Australian history,” reports the AFR.
- At The Mandarin, Julian Bajkowski explains Why the ATO’s $4.6bn epic ‘Tik-Tok’ GST fraud hit is the real price tag of robodebt.
- “The Australian Taxation Office sees a role for generative AI in its operations, albeit one that deals only in ‘low risk, low complexity use cases’ for the foreseeable future,” reports iTnews. So presumably not for clearing people of GST fraud.
- Prosecutors pause dozens of criminal cases after Services Australia miscalculated debts.
- And finally, we have new Draft recommendations on improving diversity in STEM.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Parliament is currently on a break until Monday 4 September.
[Photo: Australian Taxation Office acting deputy commissioner John Ford.]