ATO appoints PwC to review December outage


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 25 January, 2017


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The Australian Tax Office has appointed PwC to investigate the cause of December’s major system outage that took the organisation’s entire web presence offline.

The agency said PwC will conduct an independent review into the outage to help fully explain what happened and why, and what needs to be done to ensure such a system failure will not reoccur.

Closely following the outage in December, the ATO announced it had traced the cause to a hardware failure of one of the two HPE storage area networks acquired by the agency in 2015. Besides knocking the ATO’s web presence offline, the outage also disrupted work for a number of casual staff engaged to process tax returns.

While announcing the planned PwC investigation, the ATO said the professional services company was selected due to its expertise with the ICT storage that is at the centre of the outage.

The review is due to be finalised in March, and is being conducted in tandem with an internal review focused on key stakeholders including tax professionals and software developers.

“All of our external facing client systems and portals have been restored and are operational. We do not anticipate any further outages in the short term,” the ATO said in an announcement.

Image courtesy of Howard Lake under CC

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