IBM scores AU$107m Australian Taxation Office SBR contract

Big Blue has been handed the multimillion-dollar contract for the ongoing development and support of the Standard Business Reporting platform.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in early October awarded IBM a AU$107 million contract for the ongoing development and support of the Standard Business Reporting platform (SBR).

Introduced in 2010, the SBR is a standard approach to online or digital record-keeping created by the federal government to simplify business reporting obligations and sits behind many business software packages.

There are over one billion transactions that take place between the ATO, businesses, and superannuation funds each year in Australia, and IBM will "focus" the SBR platform's cloud native capability to support the transactions.

The SBR channel was built by IBM. The company said it leverages IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, IBM MQ, and IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale technologies to provide a secure and scalable channel for direct communication with the ATO.

See also: Data breaches upping ATO fraud 'red flags'

"It's our focus for the SBR platform to continue to support innovation and improve the current platform by enabling streamlined services to increase the resiliency and robustness of the SBR platform," IBM Australia and New Zealand managing director Katrina Troughton said.

The local arm of IBM in July 2018 signed a five-year agreement with the Australian government, giving the multinational AU$1 billion to be a whole-of-government "technology partner".

The agreement sees IBM provide hardware, software, and cloud-based solutions, and also includes joint innovation programs in quantum computing, cybersecurity, and research, touted by the government as furthering its digital transformation agenda.

It was revealed last month that IBM back-paid more than AU$12 million to over 1,600 Australian employees, after entering into an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

The FWO said Big Blue also failed to pay entitlements, such as superannuation and annual leave loading.

IBM Australia Limited and IBM Global Financing Australia Limited self-reported to the regulator last year that they underpaid employees after failing to apply the relevant awards.

For 2019, the Australian arm of IBM reported AU$109 million in net profit, on revenue of AU$2.6 billion.


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