The Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, has recently expressed concerns over potential conflicts of interest due to the frequent “revolving door” between political positions and employment with the ‘big four’ consulting firms: KPMG, PwC, EY, and Deloitte. Over the last decade, government contracts awarded to these companies have surged from $282 million to $1.4 billion. Although there is no evidence of widespread mismanagement of these conflicts, the blurred lines between public and private sectors can be concerning. While the skills required in both areas often overlap, the profit motives driving private consultancies might not align with the public interest responsibilities of government officials. Publications such as The Mandarin and Crikey have started documenting instances of politicians transitioning to consultancies and vice versa, highlighting the magnitude and regularity of these transitions in Australia.
This is a summary of “How power bleeds between politics and the big four” published in John Menadue’s blog on Jul 22, 2023, written by Peter Gearin and Anton Nilsson. Read it in full here.