Government promotes ATO CIO

Chief information officer Ramez Katf appointed Second Commissioner of Taxation

The Australian Taxation Office’s chief information officer, Ramez Katf, has been given expanded responsibilities, with the government appointing him to the role of Second Commissioner of Taxation.

Katf’s term will begin in May and run until the end of April 2024.

The government yesterday also reappointed Chris Jordan as Commissioner of Taxation. Jordan’s term was due to expire at the end of 2019, but will now run until the end of February 2024.

Katf will continue to act as the ATO’s IT chief.

“As Second Commissioner, Mr Katf will maintain the CIO role and continue to focus on modernising the revenue collection system and contributing to the Government’s broader digital agenda,” said a statement issued by Treasurer Scott Morrison and revenue and financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

Katf has “extensive experience in driving and implementing transformational change in large organisations,” the ministers said.

It has been a fraught period for the ATO’s technology team.

The agency suffered a major outage of its core services in December and a second major outage in February.

Problems with the ATO’s HP Enterprise SANs were pinpointed as the root cause, with the agency bringing in PwC to conduct an independent review of the outages.

Over the Easter weekend the ATO took its services offline while it migrated to a new SAN.

“Moving to the new SAN platform is a complex process, and while the component of the migration that required scheduled system outages has been completed, IT work will continue to be carried out throughout April and May,” an ATO spokesperson told Computerworld last week.

After the 12 December outage, Katf described the events as “unique and unlikely to be repeated”.

“We are working on a number of initiatives to deliver more resilient and sustainable technology that will reduce and eliminate the number of disruptions you are experiencing,” Katf wrote in a letter to tax practitioners.

“This includes identifying and rectifying possible areas of risk in our technology platform as well as migrating our systems to more contemporary cloud-based offerings for technology delivery.”

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