Digital service provider Architecture Reference Group (DARG) – 26 July 2023

Original Published Date
Tax Category
Tax preparation
Business accounting
Investment bodies
Resource Type
Consultative groups

The DSP Architecture Reference Group (DARG) meeting was held in Brisbane on 26 July 2023.

Participation is available to those Digital service providers listed as DARG members for the 2023 year.

Key outcomes

High level overview of program of work

The group received an overview of EST's upcoming Program of Work, covering funded and committed items, backlog/uncommitted projects, policy and legislation updates, and technology-driven business changes. Quarterly reviews will monitor priority areas due to high demand for technology enabled business changes.

Strategic Working Group (SWG) update

The group received a summary of the June SWG meeting, which covered key points: significant progress with Single Touch Payroll adoption, discussions on managing compromised client identities and the potential for false flags; and considerations regarding offshore/distributed teams for DSP software development.

TLS infrastructure update

The group received confirmation TLS 1.2 and 1.3 are the minimum requirements. Risks and impacts to implementation were discussed with the group.

Data minimisation and retention

Members received an overview of the data minimisation and retention initiative led by DSPANZ, stemming from the SWG. Data storage practices are being assessed for cost and cybersecurity, collaborating with DSPs to compile insights for an industry paper. The paper's finalisation is expected in late August.

Delivery insights and future program

Members were briefed on anticipated legislative changes for Tax Time 2024 and the high-level roadmap, highlighting the priority Modernisation of Trust Administration Systems (MTAS) project.

The XBRL to XML project, though paused, is still being explored for potential avenues to progress.

Sending Service Provider update

Discussion on the current SSP model and possible changes which will be explored through working groups or direct discussions with DSPs/SSPs.

API Portal walkthrough

Members received a walkthrough of the API Portal changes, covering visual and functional changes, and a focus on the product catalogue.

Members also received a walkthrough of the Collaborator Hub functionality, which serves as a space for interaction and feedback on APIs proposed for development.

The group were informed on the notification process for API updates.

DSP Survey Experience – ATO systems

The group was presented with findings from the DSP Survey. Feedback indicated a desire for more opportune times for survey participation and the possibility of integrating feedback into natural interactions.

Members acknowledged ATO's advanced engagement with the DSP community and its role as a leader among government agencies.

Content Management

The DSP Survey feedback drove a focus on delivering clear, accessible information to DSPs when needed. A consolidated information approach was shared, with public data on the API Portal and tailored support on Online Services for DSPs.

Members highlighted finding basic tax info on the ATO website could be improved.

Document Management

A health check evaluated document and artefact use on During discussions, the complexity, was emphasised prompting calls for simplification and clearer document links.

The importance of consistency was highlighted, as the placement of Business Implementation Guides (BIGs) varied across services.

The significance of document versioning was acknowledged, noting the ongoing evolution of services.

Document Transfers and DSG Code Tables

Members received an overview of the process involved for document transfers. There were discussions on document transfers, DSG code tables, and DSG error messages and business rules in the SBR system.

Vision of ATO’s API Future

Members were presented with ATO's API Future vision, emphasising value-add services for enhanced product delivery. The Vision centres on DSG's integrated implementations through agile DevOps processes, with ongoing efforts to enhance capabilities.

Prioritised elements include standards based delivery, fast turnover of priority defects, fast API deployment, sandbox integration, real time data access, refined feedback loops, detailed usage reporting, and quota management for monetisation.

Engagement and Consultation snapshot

Members received an overview of the engagement snapshot. The complete snapshot will become available on the DSP Hub in future.

Future direction of technology and Service Launch group discussion

Members engaged in an open discussion on the future direction of technology and service launch. Discussion topics included:

  • Efforts to assist DSPs transitioning from SBR1 to SBR2, with a call for a clear phase-out date for SBR1 to aid planning.
  • A defined ATO 2030 Vision within the next two years was deemed essential for effective resource allocation.
  • Service improvements are required, including addressing Client Communication service failures and Jira ticket management.
  • The confirmation of eInvoicing DSPs being required to complete an eInvoicing OSF questionnaire, reviewed by the DPO Security team.
  • Clarity on cloud resources and data location.
  • ATO's approach to new or modified services the need for consistent monitoring of DSP adoption and enhancing end-user experiences through detailed change descriptions and sharing of product lifecycle and roadmap details with the development community.

Key outcomes and presentation materials are available in DSP Hub.

If you have any questions, contact the secretariat by email at or lodge a ticket via Online services for DSPs.

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