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​ATO pulls website offline despite cancelling scheduled maintenance

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ato-website-outage.jpgato.gov.au Saturday 11.59pm AEDT after scheduled maintenance was cancelled. Screenshot: Asha McLean/ZDNet

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) took its website offline late Friday, following a Twitter post on Tuesday notifying users it was undertaking maintenance.

"Key online services (incl. portals & myTax) will be unavailable from 11.30pm AEDT Fri 23 Mar to 7am AEDT Mon 26 Mar while we carry out routine maintenance," the tweet reads[1], suggesting affected users visit the ATO maintenance page for further information.

Although the maintenance was meant to end on Monday, the ATO took to Twitter again [2]on Friday afternoon to inform users its services would in fact be available over the weekend.

"UPDATE: Our systems will now be available this weekend. Check our system maintenance page for details and upcoming maintenance dates," it said.

However, the link provided by the taxation office returned a "Page not found" messages and despite claiming availability, ato.gov.au was still offline at 11.59pm AEDT Saturday.

The maintenance was for the ATO Publication Ordering Service (PODS), despite impacting its main ato.gov.au website.

By Sunday morning, the services were up and running with no further communication provided by the government organisation.

Must read: The Australian government and the loose definition of IT projects 'working well'[3]

The outage followed a run of issues that have been plaguing the taxation office since late 2016, including "one-of-a-kind" SAN outages [4], and although the ATO said issues were rectified, further service disruptions[5] ensued.

The government department had to turn its mainframe off[6] and switch it back on again last July when a disruption occurred five days

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