Big four consulting firms accused of ‘lowball quoting’ to win government contracts

Over the last decade, the big four consultancy firms have faced accusations of “lowball quoting” to secure federal government contracts, leading to a higher-than-expected taxpayer expenditure by $1.8 billion. An in-depth analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, discovered that approximately 19% of contracts awarded to these firms were later… Read More

Teal independent Kate Chaney to introduce bill to ban big Commonwealth contractors from making political donations

Legislation banning substantial Commonwealth contractors from making political donations is being proposed, with the intention to enhance transparency in Australian federal elections. Kate Chaney, Member for Curtin, will present the “Restoring Trust Bill” that additionally seeks to mandate federal ministers to disclose their official diaries. This initiative strives to mitigate financial sway and ensure equitable… Read More

How power bleeds between politics and the big four

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… Read More

Calls for royal commission as PwC, Deloitte scandals widen

Recent revelations surrounding the misuse of confidential public data by major accounting firms have intensified the call for a royal commission. This commission aims to unravel the depth of scandals across the industry and discern strategies for the federal government to reduce dependence on external contractors. Deloitte, for instance, has faced criticism for breaching confidentiality,… Read More

Consultant work for federal agencies jumps 1300pc

Australian Commonwealth agencies have witnessed a staggering 12-fold surge in the use of external advisers over the past decade, leading to calls for stricter controls on consultant hiring and improved transparency in procurement reporting. The Centre for Public Integrity’s analysis revealed that management advisory services from the big four consultancies to the Commonwealth soared from… Read More

Australian government spending on big four consultancy firms up 1,270% in a decade, analysis shows

Australia’s government expenditure on the big four consultancy firms has escalated dramatically, seeing a 1,270% increase over the past decade. Such spending intensifies concerns about transparency and potential conflicts of interest in public financial matters. The Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, has highlighted the alarming rate of this rise, pointing out… Read More

How the big four accounting firms infiltrated governments, earning more than $10b over a decade while taxpayers are in the dark

Over the past ten years, Australia’s state and federal governments have allocated more than $10 billion to the big four accounting firms: EY, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC. Their pervasive influence reaches from numerous government departments to occupying board positions across Australia. Notably, the Department of Defence alone has reportedly expended almost $4 billion on these… Read More

Consulting firms admit they’re rife with toxic behaviour. So, why do we pay them billions?

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… Read More

Donation plug pulled and now PwC cuts ties with political access groups

PwC Australia has decided to cease its donations to political groups, tackling the ethical dilemma of granting vast amounts to politicians while simultaneously securing profitable consulting contracts. This move follows revelations by the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, which disclosed that PwC contributed over $2 million to both the Coalition and… Read More

PwC to ban political donations over tax leaks scandal

Amid an ongoing tax leaks scandal, PwC Australia is set to discontinue the majority of its political contributions, removing annual donations that average over $200,000, thereby pressuring other prominent firms like Deloitte, EY, and KPMG to consider similar actions. Anthony Whealy, the chairman of the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, and… Read More

Canberra lobbying must be reined in. Here’s how we can protect our democracy

Summary The Centre for Public Integrity, in a recent study, highlighted how the Australian federal lobbying practices and regulations have been subverted, resulting in secrecy, corruption, and unfair access and influence. The past few decades have seen the Australian government’s climate change policy heavily influenced by fossil fuel lobbyists, an epitome of the OECD’s “policy… Read More

Editorial: The lobbyist prime minister

Summary: Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s anticipated move from politics to lobbying exemplifies a concerning trend in Australian politics, where public officials transition to roles representing corporate interests. Morrison’s reported upcoming role with a British defense company, following his significant push for increased military spending, illustrates his focus on personal gain over national interest. These… Read More

Lobbyists rail against ‘unfair’ federal reforms

Summary: The Australian Professional Government Relations Association (APGRA), which represents lobbyists, has rejected calls from the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, to legislate the federal lobbyists’ code. The Centre’s report, “Closing the revolving door,” advocates for stronger regulations to curb corruption, improve transparency, and enhance integrity in Australia’s lobbying industry. Key… Read More

Scott Morrison’s reported links to UK defence job shows lobbying reforms needed, integrity experts say

Summary: Scott Morrison’s reported discussions for a UK defence industry role have brought Australia’s pressing need for lobbying reforms into sharp focus. As integrity experts and organizations like the Centre for Public Integrity have stressed, such transitions raise concerns about potential corruption and the abuse of insider knowledge gained while in government. Existing codes require… Read More

Stronger safeguards around lobbying are a must

In any democracy, lobbying is a vital component of the political process, ensuring that varied interest groups can make their case on specific issues to elected officials. It is a source of reforms to policy, from neighbourhood planning to our response to global issues such as climate change.
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The minister and the lobbyist: Blandthorn siblings face conflict questions

Premier Daniel Andrews’ appointment of new Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn has raised conflict-of-interest questions due to her lobbyist brother representing major development, construction and infrastructure clients. In an appointment that has unsettled some senior government and Labor insiders, the premier named Pascoe Vale MP Blandthorn to the sensitive planning role. Her brother, John-Paul Blandthorn, heads… Read More