Recent revelations from Australia’s top consultancy firms highlight a pervasive culture of toxic behavior. Firms like EY, Deloitte, and KPMG disclosed a series of breaches of integrity including sexual harassment, dishonesty, and bullying at a Senate inquiry initiated after the PwC tax scandal. The seriousness of these transgressions is underscored by the seniority of the staff involved, challenging the firms’ claim of just a few outliers and pointing instead to a systemic issue. Partners, who represent these firms and should model appropriate workplace behavior, have been the key culprits. The Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, disclosed that the federal government’s engagement with the ‘big four’ consulting firms increased by 400% over the last decade, amounting to $1.4 billion in annual contracts. Interestingly, these firms have also been donors to major political parties. These findings raise concerns about the influence and integrity of private consulting firms in shaping public policy and emphasize the need for greater transparency and accountability.

This is a summary of “Consulting firms admit they’re rife with toxic behaviour. So, why do we pay them billions?” published in Brisbane Times on July 15, 2023, written by Katy Hall. Read it in full here.