From the Deputy Registrar
Welcome to the first edition of the ‘News from the Deputy Registrar’. This monthly bulletin will provide you, our valued stakeholders and partners, with regular updates about the work being done to support the Registrar’s vision:
‘To be a custodian of trusted business information and a world-class provider of associated services used by businesses, governments and communities to unlock economic and social value for Australia’.
With your input and support, 2018 saw us achieve a number of key milestones that will improve the experience for Australian businesses, government and the community. At the end of last year, the Modernising Business Registers team worked closely with our partner agencies to develop options for streamlining registry functions and upgrading technology systems. Our ABN Lookup service now averages 100 million searches per month, and we are on trend to reach 1.2 billion searches in 2019. Also in July, we will mark 20 years since the first ever ABN was issued to a Coonabarabran farmer.
2019 is set to be even more eventful. E-invoicing has been in the news recently, and work is continuing with our trans-Tasman partners to bring e‑invoicing to life in 2019. While many projects are now awaiting government decisions, during 2019 we will continue to engage, listen, and work with you to help us deliver on the Registrar’s vision.
I encourage you to reach out if you would like to learn more about the initiatives we are driving.
If you wish to subscribe to this bulletin via email or would like further information about any of our stories, please email CBRS Strategic Engagement.
Key project updates
Consultation on options to strengthen the ABN system
Treasury had a great response from the community during the public consultation phase in 2018.
They received 181 submissions from a broad range of stakeholders, including small business owners, tax practitioners, industry associations, large firms and government agencies. Roundtables were also held with key stakeholders in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
The consultation findings will inform the government’s consideration of reforms to improve the ABN system.
We have been in the beta phase since mid-January 2019 to validate the Digital Capability Locator (DCL) and test the framework’s interoperability between entities in a production environment. Four digital service providers and a government entity participated.
We are currently in the public beta, which will confirm the complete end‑to‑end e-invoicing transaction cycle in a production environment with multiple entities, including government. This means we could see a legitimate e-invoice sent through the network very soon!
Until the end-state governance body is established, the ATO and New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will manage interim governance arrangements to support early adopters and ensure successful network operations.
Following a ministerial industry consultation in December, last week the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern announced the establishment of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB). The board will set the e-invoicing direction and oversee the management and delivery of trans-Tasman e-invoicing arrangements.
The Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers also announced e-invoicing will adopt the Pan European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework. Adopting the PEPPOL framework will integrate trans-Tasman e-invoicing with global standards for a truly connected global trading environment. The framework also allows extension to e-procurement.
The framework closely aligns with the Trans-Tasman framework and we will work with key stakeholders including digital service providers to understand what the transition plan to PEPPOL means for both government and industry.
Modernising Business Registers (MBR) and Director Identification Numbers (DINs)
The ATO has worked with our partner agencies to develop options for streamlining registry functions and upgrading technology systems.
To inform these options, the government consulted on:
- potential policy and legislative changes
- opportunities for enhancing business registry services
- funding registry infrastructure
- establishing DINs.
The MBR options are currently being considered by the government. As the MBR work progresses, the government is committed to working closely with business, community and other government representatives, including end users of registry services.
The MBR and DIN legislation package was introduced in the House of Representatives on 13 February. The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, issued a press release outlining what passing this legislation could mean for the Australian Business Register.