December 2019

From the Deputy Registrar

Michelle Crosby

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of 2019 already. It’s been such a busy and productive year for us, and the time has just flown by.

Our achievements for 2018–19 included:

  • 1.4 billion searches on ABN Lookup
  • 863,000 new ABN registrations
  • 20 new agencies using ABR data (a total of 386)
  • use of the ABR data by local councils to identify and engage with new businesses in their area.

We have:

  • improved the ABN application process
  • utilised more channels to get ABN messages out into the community
  • continued increasing the focus on education for both ABN holders and ABR data users.

You may have also noticed the recent media coverage about the government’s revitalisation of its deregulation agenda. On 20 November during an address to the Business Council of Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reconfirmed the government’s support for Modernising Business Registers. For more information access the PM’s media release – New measures delivering deregulation for Australian business.

In this edition of News from the Deputy Registrar we look at:

  • what’s happening with AUSkey
  • providing an update on Strengthening the ABN system measure
  • updating you on recent events and information about the Australian Business Register.

I’d also like to pass on my best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. I’m looking forward to 2020 and expect the excitement to continue as we move towards the future of business registries in Australia.

Goodbye AUSkey, hello myGovID and RAM!

The way you access government online services is changing. AUSkey and Manage ABN connections will retire at the end of March 2020. The limitations of AUSkey and inability to keep pace with technology changes have been the driving factors of this decision. The Australian Government is committed to online safety, security and privacy, with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) delivering two new digital services to replace AUSkey as part of the Digital identity program. They are:

  • myGovID – the Australian Government’s digital identity provider which makes it faster and easier to prove who you are online. It’s different to your myGov account.
  • Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) – an authorisation service that allows you to act on behalf of a business online.

Together, myGovID and RAM provide a secure, simple and flexible way to access government online services.

The myGovID app is now available from Google Play and the App Store. The ATO is working with other government agencies and departments that use AUSkey and Manage ABN connections for their online services, helping them with the move to myGovID and RAM. Participating government online services include the ATO’s Business Portal, Online services for agents and the Australian Business Register (ABR) with more to join in the coming months.

Take a look at the Your new key to business is here video for an overview.

Australian business number (ABN) facts and fiction

We have a fun video series with Acting Deputy Commissioner, Emma Rosenzweig about Australian business number (ABN) fact and fictions. In this video series, we bust some of the common myths about ABN entitlement, whether you can have an ABN for life, and even about what happens when an ABN is cancelled.

You can watch our short video series on these issues, and others, on our website at ABN facts and fiction that cover:

  • entitlement to an ABN
  • life span of an ABN
  • effect of cancelling an ABN.

Strengthening the ABN system update

Since my last bulletin, we’ve done a lot of work to progress the 2019–20 budget measure to strengthen the integrity of the ABN system for the benefit of business and the community.

There has been extensive research work completed so that we understand:

  • who ABN holders are
  • how ABN holders currently engage with both the ATO and the Australian Business Register
  • what interactions we may be able to leverage to incorporate the annual ABN review.

External stakeholder consultation will be coming soon, which will enable us to:

  • seek feedback from our trusted partners
  • support the development of the administrative approach
  • co-design the implementation.

Once we know when the different phases of consultation will be happening, we’ll let you know so you have the opportunity to provide your input.

National Economic Development Conference 2019 – Adelaide, 24–25 October  2019

Staff from the Australian Business Register recently attended the National Economic Development Conference in Adelaide.

Attending events like this gives us the opportunity to talk to government agencies and councils that use, or would like to use ABR data to assist the community.

CBRS staff attending the ABR booth – Leanne Toulmin, Anne-Maree Tattersall, Kim Hoskin
CBRS staff attending the ABR booth – Leanne Toulmin, Anne-Maree Tattersall, Kim Hoskin

We had the opportunity to demonstrate ABR Explorer, which is a tool that can enable users to access the ABR data that is most relevant for them. They are then able to analyse that data to make more informed decisions for their agency or council area.

It enables agencies to understand and assist businesses and the wider community, as well as increase productivity and savings through reduced workflow.

At the conference, we demonstrated how the data could be used to support economic development, but other reasons include:

  • disaster recovery and emergency management
  • procurement
  • compliance
  • community consultation and much more.

For further information about using our data, take a look at the Who can access non-public data? news story on our website.

Business Registry Strategic Advisory Council meeting

The Business Registry Strategic Advisory Council meeting was held in Canberra on 19  September  2019, and chaired by the Registrar of the Australian Business Register, Chris Jordan.

The Business Registry Strategic Advisory Council was previously known as the ABR Board, and the name, which was confirmed at the meeting, was updated to reflect the new purpose of the Council, which is to:

  • influence the strategic direction, risks and priorities in the delivery of the Registrar’s 2024 vision
  • advocate and support the Registrar’s role in unlocking the economic and social value or the register for the Australian community
  • support a fairer business environment for the community, business and government through providing registry information and digital standards.

The Terms of reference were also updated and agreed, including an increase in meetings to three per year, recognising the significant work involved in implementing the Registrar’s 2024 Vision.

Other points of discussion included:

  • suggestions for additional attributes on the ABR
  • an update on the Strengthening the ABN system project
  • discussing the outcomes of the workshop held in July to develop a roadmap towards implementing the Registrar’s 2024 vision.

The next scheduled meeting will be held in March 2020.

Past editions of this bulletin are available.

If you wish to subscribe or remove yourself from the mailing list, or would like further information about any of our stories, please email CBRS Strategic Engagement.

Last modified
13 Dec 2019
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230