ATO boss angered over Four Corners and Fairfax investigation

ATO boss angered over Four Corners and Fairfax investigation
Australian Taxation Office. Photo: ATO, Wikimedia Commons

Australian Taxation Office boss Chris Jordan has attacked an investigation conducted by Fairfax and Four Corners saying that it was inaccurate, offensive and breached the editorial policies of the ABC.

The report that was published indicated a rather toxic workplace culture at the ATO that specifically targeted small businesses and individuals in order to reach their revenue goals.

The claims coming out of the investigation jointly conducted by Four Corners and Fairfax has since prompted further investigations from the Finance Department and Ali Nazoori, the Inspector-General of Taxation.

Following the release of the report, the ATO was swift to deny any of the cultural issues that were presented saying that the case studies used by the investigators were old. Much of the anger from the ATO, and particularly Chris Jordan, came as a result of the title used by Four Corners in their show “A Mongrel Bunch of Bastards.”

Mr Jordan asked, “How would the ABC feel” if the same name had been used to refer to them across hundreds of media outlets.

He reiterated the point that those working at the ATO did not suffer from cultural issues and were in fact “normal people trying to do a good job for the benefit of the country” in response to being called “mongrels and bastards”.

Chris Jordan continued by saying that “there is no evidence of this”. Despite the allegations made against the ATO, Mr Jordan is yet to file an official complaint.

Mr Jordan also went on to respond directly to some of the claims made throughout the program in an attempt to restore so dignity to the organisation. He says that the allegations are “ridiculous” and cannot believe that the ABC would present such figures as the result of an “investigation”.

He continued to say that Nazoori’s accusation that the ATO gets 1 in 20 cases wrong was “unsubstantiated” and that there is no way the ATO is getting that many cases wrong on a yearly basis.

Mr Jordan admitted that the organisation did make mistakes and that it would be in their best interests to acknowledge them more often and work to provide better financial compensation however he says that the ATO consistently try their best to get everything right.