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ABSIA NEWSLETTER - 19 September 2016

ABSIA Forum & ebMS3 Expo. 

7th of September 2016  


Thanks to our sponsors for helping make the day a success! 

Thanks to all the exhibitors who made the day productive for all who attended.

ebMS3 providers were on hand at the exhibition to assist software developers in deciding on building, buying or partnering in the ebMS3 space to enable consumption of government web service  offerings including Single Touch Payroll (STP).  

Simon Spencer gets us thinking about data disruption!
ABSIA thanks the speakers listed below for capturing our imaginations and inspiring us to be more innovative in working with government.  
Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell
MXA Consulting Jay Wilton
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Matthew Addison 
ABSIA Karen Lay-Brew | MessageXchange Dr Michael Ross 
Ozedi & ABSIA David Field
ATO Chris Thorne, John Shepherd and Jacqui  Marchment
Edgelabs  Simon Spencer 
ABSIA Josef Bobinac | Luke Farley 

Presentations from the day are now available
  on the 
ABSIA site. Click on the topics
  in the agenda to view the presentations. 


Save the Date!
ABSIA Quarterly Webinar - November 9

ABSIA Conference - Sydney - November 30

News from the ABSIA Forum and ebMS3 expo.


ATO - ABSIA Secondees 

ABSIA introduced its secondees from the ATO, including: Joe Maxymenko, Samantha Louise Smith, Winnie Chen, Gerardine Burke, Sangitha Sivayogaraj and Samantha Fosberry. The secondees are working at the SwD companies of ABSIA Directors and assisting with ABSIA work. 

ABSIA Website

ABSIA announced that staff are busy working with DoCon on the new ABSIA website to be launched soon.

Product Register

Following the new ABSIA website launch, efforts will continue with the design of the Product Register (replacing the ATOs current register of certified products).
Information Catalogue
On Monday the 5th of September, ABSIA board members attended a presentation of a web based product which catalogues and organises information. This was viewed as a possible candidate for the ABSIA Information Catalogue which is a high priority for development for the ABSIA board.


e-Invoicing provoked much conversation at the ABSIA Forum and ebMS3 expo, with the following key points announced:
  • The e-Invoicing Framework has been published and is avaliable at the Digital Business Council (DBC) site.
  • ABSIA President - David Field, will be in attendance at the DBC meeting in Canberra on the 21st of September 2016 which is expected to finalise a number of plans for adoption of e-Invoicing 
  • ABSIA President - David Field and ABSIA Director -  Simon Foster will co-chair the ABSIA e-business SIG* and will begin publishing material on this forum from September onwards. 

*This is a member’s only group. Members can express interest in participating in the group to If you are not yet a member, go to the ABSIA website for information on membership benefits including access to restricted forums and special events and join us as a member of ABSIA.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) intend to commence a piolot of electronic lodgement of the Quarterly Business Indicators Survey (QBIS). This is to be done using a web application to be developed and an AS4 solution using signed and encrypted payloads for maximum data privacy and security. ABSIA will notify its members when the SIG is created for the ABS work. 


ABSIA intends to open discussions with the Government on the topic of creating a joint ebMS3 AS4 Australian implementation group. As we now have SBR, STP, SuperStream, ABS and e-Invoicing all using the AS4 Australian Implementation Standard, it is important to avoid the situation which arose with SuperStream where different implementations were created. 
The ABSIA e-Invoicing Interoperability Framework online forum** is open for Special Interest Groups (SIG) members to discuss and work together as it progresses.  
**This is a member’s only group. Members can express interest in participating in the group to If you are not yet a member, go to the ABSIA website for information on membership benefits including access to restricted forums and special events and join us as a member of ABSIA.


Single Touch Payroll (STP) 

Assistant Commissioners John Shepherd and Chris Thorne from the ATO gave presentations providing update on the current status of STP. The STP initiative is included in the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill and has passed through both houses of Parliament. A draft ATO guidance paper is also included, to provide further detail about how the initiative may be administered by the ATO. This milestone provides us with the scope needed to progress the detailed design, and meetings for this have commenced. Detail was provided about the Small Business Pilot and its various stages, that better illustrates when the software developers will be involved. Further work is underway with the STP team, SIPO and ABSIA to improve the stakeholder engagement process. Please see the ABSIA Single Touch Payroll Small Business Pilot Participation Online Forum for details on how to get involved in the small business pilot to run from late 2016 - early 2017.
The Payroll SIG has constant updates on this matter and is for ABSIA members only. Please note that the STP closed group does include ATO staff. 

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 
Timothy Lo, a Senior Relationship Manager for ABS and ATO, summarised the current work on an ABS SBR trial and future plans for ABS data collection through digital reporting.  The ABS is undertaking a 5 year large scale transformation program encompassing updates to infrastructure, business operations and processes and data capture.  Part of these plans are the consolidation of around 60 to 80 business surveys (monthly, quarterly and annual) to determine a solution to automate the collection of business information. The ABS is interested to
  • Investigate the information available through natural business systems and how much of it can be automated through SBR and what information gaps exist.
  • Gather business intelligence from the clients’ point of view and their experiences and expectations.
  • Prototype data extraction with encrypted delivery to the ABS. 
The ABS will start a special interest group, to collaborate with developers on a high level design for the future and gather business intelligence on client experiences. Further information will be provided to ABSIA to provide to its members in due course. 

USA Recognises Australia's progress with
Standard Business Reporting (SBR) 

ABSIA Vice President and Deputy Chair, Karen Lay-Brew provided a debrief on returning from her recent trip to the USA where she meet with with a number of US Government agencies. A key message was the recognition by the USA of Australia’s progress with SBR. The USAs DATA Act (2014) and the proposed Financial Transparency Act are akin to ABN and B2G regulatory reporting that Australia has implemented.  Australia’s industry-government engagement model (incubated in ATO and applicable for wider application across Australian Government agencies) and the partnership demonstrated in the Digital Business Council (DBC) also received very positive feedback.  Karen has been invited to return to Washington DC to speak at Data Transparency 2016 conference on 28th September 2016, to more widely share the journey so far with the many US Government agencies.  Meetings have also been planned with Offices of Illinois, Virginia and California; these states are supporters and proponents of SBR and Open Data. 

During her upcoming trip, Karen has also been invited to meet with the University of Nevada and Offices of the Governor of Nevada to explore synergies and joint program opportunities following the Trade Delegation visit to Australia by the Governor of Nevada in early August 2016.


Access our online forums and get involved in the conversation! 

ATO SwD Technical Working Group (TWG)

The ATO conducted SwD TWG workshop was held following the ABSIA Forum and ebMS3 expo, on Thursday the 8th of September 2016. The future of the schematron, format of artefacts, and the format of messages (XBRL v XML) was discussed. Further details to come in future meetings.  ABSIA is encouraging anyone interested to get involved, the next workshop is planned for the 1st of December 2016, the day after the ABSIA conference. 


ATO Software Developers (SwD) Strategic Working Group (SWG)  

The ATO conducted SwD SWG met following the ABSIA Forum and ebMS3 expo, on Thursday the 8th of September 2016, to help share the direction of the ATOs digital strategy by providing a whole of software industry perspective. There will be an industry co-chair. Several ABSIA members are represented in this group. The Operating Document was tabled, providing  a clear charter for the group and the high level scope of the group's activities were set. Timothy Lo from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), presented an overview of current and proposed initatives and requested assistance to ensure alignment with the group. Anita Agett from ATO digital strategy provided an overview of progress and alignment with the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) strategies and how that may impact SwD. Ian Colhoun from the ATO provided an overview of current consultation on SuperMatch2. ATO Assistant Commissioner of Design and Change Management, Lesley Slevin, provided an overview of the ATO-Fjord Single Entry Point (SEP) design findings and discussion on next steps. There was much discussion around the ATOs security questionnaire, communication and PLS. Details of this group may be found on the Software Developers page SwD SWG

Gateway Operators Group (GOG) and 
Gateway Network Governance Body (GNGB) 

ABSIA Member, Angela Lehmann of ADP was the ABSIA appointed Director for the board of the GNGB and was nominated as the industry co-chair. Several milestones were reached last week in the handover of the governance of the SuperStream network from the ATO to the newly formed Gateway Network Governance Board (GNGB):
  • GNGB Director, Angela Lehmann attended her first meeting with the GNGB. ABSIA President, David Field and ABSIA Vice President and Deputy Chair, Karen Lay-Brew, will be phasing out their involvement with the GNGB as Angela takes steps into the role.
  • The ATO held its last GOG meeting on Thursday the 8th of September, 2016. After several years of stewardship, from this stage onwards, the responsibilities of the GOG will be consumed into and managed by the GNGB.
  • The ACCC approved an interim authorisation to exempt the GNGB from anti-competition laws.

Australian Government Productivity Commission

The Australian Government Productivity Commission is currently running a 12 month public enquiry to investigate ways to improve the availability and use of public and private sector data. The Issues Paper was released on 18th of April 2016. The draft report expected in early November 2016 and the commission will seek further feedback following release and submissions in response will be due by the 12th of December 2016. Members interested in participating in a Special Interest Group (SIG) to provide collective feedback on the draft report are asked to email thier expression of interest to  

Ozedi Shares its Outcomes with the ATO on Data Security

  From his position as Director of Ozedi, David Field notifies ABSIA members that Ozedi attended a meeting with the ATO to discuss finalising the Ozedi gateway security assessment. The ATO has, over the last 9 months, carried out an extensive security assessment of each of the 9 SuperStream gateways. The results of the assessment process have resulted in a comprehensive security document, which Ozedi believes could be utilised to form the basis of a broader discussion about data security for the benefit of all ABSIA members. Ozedi will provide ABSIA further information to share with its members as it is finalised. 

ATO SwD Partnership Event - Services for Tax Practitioners. 

This annual event is to cover matters of interest to SwD relating to TT17 changes and is scheduled for the 28th & 29th of September 2016, in Sydney. 
See the  
agenda at the SIPO site

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