ATO wields the axe on unsatisfactory workers

The Australian Taxation Office sacked six of its workers in the second half of last year for failing to show up to their jobs, according to the giant department's latest disciplinary snapshot.

Another six tax officials were fired for being lousy workers and five were shown the door after breaching the Australian Public Service code of conduct.

The figures were sent to all 23,000 of the department's staff on Monday morning with a stern warning to miscreants that even if they escape the sack, a disciplinary ''sanction'' will stay on the permanent record.

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The friendly advice went out in a newsletter as thousands of tax officials discover if they have been granted their wish of a golden handshake from the organisation.


Several hundred applicants, out of 2100 hopefuls, will be notified on Monday and Tuesday if they get their hoped-for payout or if they have to stay at their desks for the foreseeable future.

Tax's staff newsletter ATO Extra reported the results of formal investigations from July 1 to December 31, 2013, reporting 17 sackings, 12 of them under the ATO Employment Principles and another five under the PS code of conduct.

Six of the employment principles casualties were dumped for ''failure to conform to attendance obligations,'' while another six were fired for ''underperformance''.

Four tax officials were demoted over breaches of the public service code while another 13 had their wages reduced.

One lucky bureaucrat escaped punishment for an undisclosed breach, while another two resigned after breaking the rules.

Tax bosses also announced on Monday that more redundancies will be offered than initially announced, in anticipation of many applicants developing cold feet.

It was expected that 300 offers would be made, with another 200 redundancies offered to workers at the abolished Australian Valuation Office.

But second Taxation Commissioner Geoff Leeper told his workers on Monday that he expected initial enthusiasm for a payout to fade in some cases. ''Following careful assessment of our financial position, a decision was made to offer more than the forecast number of VR offers on the basis that we expect some people will not take up the offer,'' Mr Leeper wrote.

Most applicants for redundancies will have been notified by Monday afternoon and have two working days to tell their bosses. A one-month ''consultation'' period will then follow before final offers are made.


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