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The Challenge of Institutional Integrity in Responsive Regulation: Field Inspections by the Australian Taxation Office

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Abstract:

Based on responsive regulation, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Compliance Model was developed as a way of dealing with the complexities of the Australian tax system. This article demonstrates some of the challenges that come with introducing responsive regulation into a bureaucracy such as the ATO. Selznick's ideas of institutional integrity provide a conceptual framework that allows the regulatory agency engaged in responsive regulation to emphasize voluntary compliance and the building of positive relationships with the regulatee, while simultaneously ensuring that non-compliance is both detected and dealt with. Using evidence from a qualitative study of ATO “walk-ins” with used car dealers, the article demonstrates the unintended consequences that can occur without institutional integrity both at the level of design and at the level of everyday ATO field-officer practices.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9930.2007.00246.x

Affiliations: Department of Information Systems,University of Melbourne.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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