With Single Touch Payroll now legislated for all Employers, no matter how big or small, this is providing a valuable real-time data set on a scale that is unprecedented in Government.
STP Phase 1 was proof of concept. Phase 2 has many additional benefits but comes with an added social responsibility.
This expanded data set comes packaged with a higher degree of risk that must be taken into consideration and mitigated as much as possible.
What does STP Phase 2 involve?
Phase 2 involves a WoG (Whole-Of-Government) approach, which includes Departments such as, Services Australia (SA), Department of Social Services (DSS), Child support Agency (CSA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Every government agency that has an interest in data that can be sourced from payroll needs to put their hand up and consider what may be useful in assisting to streamline their current outdated processes.
The primary objectives of Phase 2 are to take into consideration what improvements can be made to the existing STP Phase 1 data, and what is required to establish an "all inclusive" baseline data set that is suitable for multiple Government agencies. The thinking has to be out of the box, looking at the big picture while building a structure that is future proof.
Mitigate the risks with Assurance.
Most importantly, this expanded data set needs to have a high level of Assurance applied to it. Government is making decisions on numerous levels based on the data received, and we want that information to be as correct as it possibly can be.
Decisions being made by Government using the data sourced from Single Touch Payroll affect everybody; therefore, that data must have assurance.
These decisions will affect large numbers of people, right down to a single individual; therefore, the data supplied must provide the same expected outcomes no matter what the source.
Single Touch Payroll is the front door to Government service reform, and the ATO holds the key.
I see Single Touch Payroll as a basic analogy; it is the front door to the ATO and other Government Departments reforming the way they deliver key services to the community. What goes in that door ends up being assigned to rooms that others can move in and access. As the gatekeeper, the ATO holds the key and therefore has the responsibility for the integrity and security of the data reported.
It will be interesting to see if the ATO can hold onto and effectively manage this game-changing opportunity moving forward.