The ‘Big Four’ consulting firms, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC, have accumulated over $4 billion in federal government contracts in the past decade, fostering an environment of policy development co-dependency via repeated political donations, according to a report by the Centre for Public Integrity (CPI), Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank. The CPI’s findings underscore the complex issue of integrity and transparency in Australia’s policy development landscape, as consultancies, while donating, do not express a partisan preference. The report points to an escalating culture of “clientelism,” where agencies lose their ability to develop and execute policy, handing it over to external providers. The CPI suggests that refocusing the role of the Australian Public Service and introducing measures such as a cap on the use of consultants could help to restore balance, integrity, and value-for-money for the public.

This summary comes from The Mandarin, was written by Julian Bajkowski, and can be found here.