Australian Business Register (Program 1.3)

Purpose

The Australian Business Register (ABR) program contributes to improving the wellbeing of the Australian people through enhanced business productivity by:

  • reducing the administrative cost to business in their dealings with other businesses and in complying with government regulation
  • influencing government policy development and implementation, through advocating the use of whole-of-government services, technologies and processes to minimise the administrative impact on business
  • encouraging the broader use of the national business register information and the Australian business number (ABN) as the key identifier for business.

 

TABLE 2.12 Program 1.3 Australian Business Register, 2013–14 to 2015–16

Performance criterion

Criterion source

Result

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Increased use of the ABR as the national business dataset by government agencies and the community

Corporate plan / PBS

418.8 million ABN Lookup searches

54 datasets were provided to government agencies

23.4% increase in ABN Lookup searches

140 government agencies using ABR Explorer

14% increase in ABN Lookup searches

Analysis

The ATO introduced the ABR Explorer tool in 2015–16 for interactive use of the ABR by government agencies as an alternative to providing static datasets. There has been a move by consumers to use this service to implement a more integrated solution to their business process.

There was also a 5% increase in the number of government agencies registering to use the ABR data.

The ABR was used for the benefit of the community in response to disasters such as recent floods in NSW and Tasmania.

The ABR data is being used by government agencies and emergency services to identify vulnerable facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Performance criterion

Criterion source

Result

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Improvement in the quality of key data in the ABR

Corporate plan / PBS

12.0%

3.2%

Analysis

This will be the last year this measure is reported.

In 2015–16, the key fields showed an increase of 1.7% to 4.6%, resulting in an average improvement of 3.2%. Improvements are from a 2014–15 baseline accuracy ranging from 61.6% (email addresses) to 86.6% (associates) and expected to fall, over time, with the delivery of system and process improvements.

The data integrity work program in 2015–16 was focused on improving completeness and validity of key fields. For example, missing address elements, invalid email address format and removing redundant ABNs.

Maintaining accuracy is still largely reliant on ABN holders updating the register when their circumstances change.

Performance criterion

Criterion source

Result

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Proportion of ABN applicants obtaining a decision online at the point of application

Corporate plan / PBS

72.3%(1)

73.5%

Analysis

This will be the last year this measure is reported.

While representing an improvement on the baseline of 72.3% in 2014–15, the result is lower than the anticipated 75.0%. This is largely attributable to:

  • a higher than expected ABN re-application rate
  • delays to planned systems improvements.

(1) This number has been corrected, see Appendix 14: Corrections.

Performance criterion

Criterion source

Result

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Reduction in the unintended administrative costs to business of complying with government regulation

Corporate plan / PBS

$400 million

$1.2 billion

Analysis

The estimated reduction in business’ costs of $1.2 billion attributable to the use of technologies enabled by Standard Business Reporting has been verified by Deloitte Access Economics in its report ‘ABR program savings review’.