The Australian Taxation Office is set to integrate a new API gateway into its e-commerce platform to improve how digital services are consumed by its tax and super clients.
More than 18 months after it went searching for a replacement e-commerce platform, the national revenue collection agency has settled on the first of two underpinning components.
The agency struck a three-year deal with Sydney-based digital product development firm Terem Technologies last month to deliver digital services gateway (DSG) services.
The company, whose previous clients include Qantas, Service NSW, IAG and MYOB, specialises in building custom software, website and mobile apps, according to its website.
An ATO spokesperson told iTnews that the $6.7 million contract will involve “the delivery of an API gateway, an administration portal and a developer portal”.
According to the original tender, the DSG will “fulfil the complete life-cycle management for APIs” by managing “exchange[s] with the near-real-time services of these back-end systems”.
The ATO said this would allow clients to “interact and consume quick, small and data driven services” through their software.
But it is now not clear whether the ATO will proceed with the second component of the proposed new e-commerce platform or augment the existing six-year-old platform.
The existing platform uses machine to machine type messaging to interact with taxpayers, super funds and other nominated intermediaries like tax professionals.
It sits behind multiple digital services such as income tax and employer obligations through programs like single touch payroll.
“The DSG will be integrated with an enhancement of the existing platform,” a spokesperson said.
“It is not a replacement as per the original requirement of backwards compatibility with existing technologies and patterns.”
As part of the December 2018 request for information, the ATO also went looking for a digital reporting channel (DRC) to become the agency’s future messaging platform.
Together, the DSG and DRC were intended to ensure the ATO could meet the objective of its digital services modernisation program.
The program aims to accommodate increasing demand for its digital services by ensuring systems are low-touch and centred around “digital events through user’s natural systems”.
APIs, for instance, were expected to grow from 70 in 2014 to more than 600 by 2020, according to the RFI documents.
The ATO was also, however, open to modernising its six-year-old e-commerce platform to deliver digital services, messaging standards and other capabilities “on a much larger scale”.
The spokesperson said the “technical implementation of DRC will be determined if and when the ATO decides to proceed with it”.
The agency is also yet to determine how the DSG will be hosted.