26 September 2023

Audited JobKeeper keeps its job

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A Financial Statements Audit into the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) administration of the COVID-related JobKeeper Scheme has found the scheme to be mostly effective.

The initiative was managed by the ATO early last year to help Australian businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his Report, Administration of the JobKeeper Scheme, Auditor-General, Grant Hehir said JobKeeper was a key measure in the Government’s economic response to the pandemic.

“More than one million entities had JobKeeper applications processed by the ATO and around $89 billion in JobKeeper payments were made,” Mr Hehir said.

“The ATO’s administration of the JobKeeper Scheme was effective, except for shortcomings in implementation across parts of the ATO’s compliance program,” he said.

Mr Hehir said the JobKeeper Scheme was announced on 30 March 2020, when the Government stated it was a wage subsidy to businesses that would keep more Australians in jobs through the COVID outbreak.

It was originally legislated to operate for six months until 27 September, but was later extended until 28 March 2021.

Mr Hehir said the audit was part of Phase Two of his Office’s multi-year strategy to focus on the effective, efficient, economical and ethical delivery of the Government’s response to the pandemic.

The Auditor-general did not make any recommendations to the ATO or the Department of the Treasury.

The 85-page audit Report can be accessed at this PS News link and online at this link.

The audit team was David Willis, Samuel Painting, Evan Lee, Connor McGlynn, Chay Kulatunge, Matt Rigter, Omer Shaikh, Peta Martyn and Christine Chalmers.

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