An ATO spokesperson told Accountants Daily that a shift to a remote working environment for the ATO workforce in the wake of the Prime Minister’s plea for Australians to work remotely had contributed to the outage.
“On 30 March, a change in the nature of traffic in the ATO networks, compounded by a number of factors including support for our workforce as they work from home, resulted in intermittent to severe degradation of some of our services including myGovID,” the ATO spokesperson said.
“We made a number of adjustments to our infrastructure to rectify the issues identified and these changes have ensured that all services were restored for our clients [on Monday evening].”
The latest system disruption coincided with the first working day of myGovID after the decade-old AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections were retired.
myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will now be the only way to access the ATO’s Online services for agents, its Business Portal and a range of other government online services.
Take-up has been far from perfect, with less than two-thirds of tax practitioners now using the new digital identity.
Of the 600,000 unique ABNs linked with RAM, 36,000 are registered tax professionals, composed of 25,200 tax agents and 10,800 BAS agents.
This accounts for just under 60 per cent of the 42,850 tax agents registered with the Tax Practitioners Board and two out three of the 15,801 registered BAS agent population.
In spite of this and the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the ATO has maintained that the underlying AUSkey infrastructure was hardcoded to expire at the end of March and could not be extended further.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.