In April 2018 we were intimately involved in the production of the ABC Four Corners program ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’. The program exposed evidence of the ATO’s abuse of small business people. The program brought real ‘grunt’ to our campaign to reform the ATO. And we have to say that in our observation the ATO has improved since then. There’s still much to be done, but it is better.
Included in the Four Corners program was the profiling of Richard Boyle. Richard was a case officer in the ATO who exposed ATO abuse of small business people and he explained this on the program. The consequence of this is that Richard was charged and is being prosecuted. Richard has become one of Australia’s most high-profile whistleblowers. He faces a lengthy jail sentence if convicted.
In the production of the program, and subsequently, SEA has had considerable dealings with Richard. In July 2022, SEA released a statement joining the call for the charges against Richard to be dropped. In the statement we explain our dealings with Richard as well as our view of him and his whistleblower actions. We said:
…in our view the charges against Richard must be considered within the ambit of Richard’s whistleblower activity as it exposed malpractice within the ATO.
…Richard’s whistleblowing action (and the activities related to that) were done in order to protect taxpayers from garnishee activity by the ATO which breached the ATO’s own procedural requirements.
In all our dealings with Richard we have found him to be a person of the highest ethical and moral standards.
Our statement provides the full details of the independent investigations into Richard’s whistleblowing. Those investigations detail the maladministration of the ATO at the time and, in our view, effectively support the propriety of Richard’s exposure of the truth.
This Monday (18 September 2023) the ABC 7.30 Report ran a full segment on Richard Boyle. This time they interviewed a small business taxpayer (Dirk Fielding) who Richard had helped in 2017 and who, through the ATO’s actions, has been used to generate Richard’s prosecution. Dirk refers to the prosecution as ‘insanity’.
Further, last week some 30 MPs and Senators joined the call to have the charges against Richard dropped. We again join that call and reiterate the reasons for the dropping of the charges as we explained in our statement of July 2022.