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Appointment Of Commissioner Of Inland Revenue

Media Statement from the State Services Commissioner


The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today the appointment of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and chief executive of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). He is David Butler, who is currently a First Assistant Commissioner of Taxation in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Mr Butler is among the most experienced managers in large public sector organisations in Australia. He has held senior leadership positions in the ATO since 1989. For much of that time, he has managed the largest projects in the ATO and led large workforces. He has also been involved in taxation litigation and the development of taxation policy.

As First Assistant Commissioner of Taxation - Business Tax Reform, Mr Butler is currently in charge of implementing major changes in the business taxation system as a result of the 1998/1999 Ralph Review. That review has resulted in the overhaul of almost all Federal business taxation processes in Australia.

Mr Butler is responsible for drafting legislation to give effect to the new system, the major information technology investment, and the reskilling of more than 8,000 staff. He is also liasing with the business community and tax profession.

Mr Wintringham said that Mr Butler was committed to continuing the moves, begun under Graham Holland - and maintained carefully by John Perham - to make IRD more accessible, and to address problems the department has in some external relationships and the way in which it is sometimes publicly perceived.

"Mr Butler is committed to continuing those changes. Under Mr
Butler's leadership, I expect to see IRD continue the progress that has been apparent."

Mr Wintringham acknowledged the work of Mr Perham, who has been the acting chief executive since the beginning of the year. "Mr Perham has done a superb job of managing the department over the last year," Mr Wintringham said.

"Despite the fact that he was acting in the chief executive role, he has willingly faced some of the hard questions around public perceptions of the IRD and, with the support of the management team, he has raised morale.

"Mr Perham has set a high standard for the management of the
department, a standard which is recognised by his peers.

"At the beginning of this year, a longstanding chief executive had left the IRD, the department was midway through some major projects, and the department had been the subject of a major select committee review.

"Under Mr Perham, and with the support of the senior management team, the department has kept up the pace of change," Mr Wintringham said.

Mr Butler, who is currently based in Canberra, will take over as Commissioner of Inland Revenue and chief executive of IRD on 1 February 2001.

Mr Wintringham said Mr Butler had proven skills in change management in the ATO, and in managing sound external relationships with clients and customers of a tax department.

He was previously the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation: Small
Business in the ATO. In that role, Mr Butler built a reputation for cementing the ATO's relationship with the taxation profession and business representatives. He had 3,000 staff under his charge and an annual budget of $(A)260 million.

Earlier Mr Butler was Assistant Commissioner of Taxation:
High-Wealth Individuals Project (June to October 1996), and Assistant Commissioner of Taxation: Child Support Agency (September 1993 to June 1996). In the early 1990s, as Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Brisbane, he was responsible for a large part of ATO operations in Queensland.

Mr Butler has a law degree from the Australian National University in Canberra. He is also a qualified accountant and a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants.

Mr Butler has studied at the London Business School, at Queens University in Ontario, and at the Australian Management College at Mt Eliza, Victoria. He has represented the ATO internationally, including in Canada, where he lived in the late 1980s, and at discussions in China and the United States.

Ends

Further information: Owen Gill, State Services Commission, ph
04 495 6609.

EMBARGO: Not for publication or broadcast before 11.00 am (New Zealand time), Tuesday, 5 December 2000

Media statement from David Butler, chief executive designate of Inland Revenue

Mr David Butler, who is currently a senior manager of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), has been appointed the chief executive of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), effective from 1 February 2001.

Today Mr Butler said:
"I recognise that the IRD has initiated major change. IRD has been facing up to some tough questions about its standing in the community, the level of accessibility for customers of the department, and the way New Zealanders see the department. The department has moved to address some outstanding grievances on the part of particular taxpayers.

"The department also has underway major improvements in the administration of New Zealand's tax system, such as the tax simplification project and the new call centres that have been coming on line.
"The acting chief executive, Mr Perham, and the senior management team - supported by the staff in the department - have kept those improvements on course this year. I am committed to picking up that work, and continuing to build higher levels of community confidence in IRD, when I become the chief executive in February.
"Moreover, I am committed to making the department a stimulating place to work, a place where IRD people can recognise that they are contributing to a better society."

Ends

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