Accenture lands $60m modernising business registers contract

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The tax office will pay Irish-domiciled tech giant Accenture nearly $3.5 million per month over the next year and a half for work on its large-scale project consolidating business registers.

Accenture has landed a $62.3 million contract running for 18 months for “pipeline and delivery” of the modernising business registers program with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This contract will run from 1 March 2022 to 31 August 2023, and equates to Accenture being paid more than $100,000 per day over nearly 550 days.

Some elements of the contract have been kept confidential due to costing or profit information IP being involved.

Australian Taxation Office

It’s the second significant contract that Accenture has won for work on this project, with the firm being paid $109.7 million from early 2019 to March this year for work on the modernising business registers scheme.

Accenture will now be paid more than $170 million over four years to assist the ATO on the project.

The modernising business registers program received just under $420 million in funding as part of the Coalition’s 2020 budget digital initiatives, bringing its total funding to $480 million since it was launched in 2019.

Led by the tax office, the program will see the consolidation of dozens of ASIC business registers into one new service known as the Australian Business Registry Services. This will improve the reliability, access and ongoing costs of several existing registers and will also see the launch of company director IDs, the government said.

Accenture was awarded a contract for the Business Registries Improvement Program in January 2019, which eventually ran until 31 March this year and cost $109.7 million. New Zealand-based software firm Foster Moore is also involved in the work, landing a four-year contract worth $26 million from the tax office.

The ATO’s management of the modernising business registers program has been shortlisted for a potential audit in the next financial year by the Australian National Audit Office.

ASIC has also been dishing out contracts for work on the project. Late last year it brought in Deloitte on a near-$3 million contract to assist with the ASIC registers.

The latest business registers contract comes just days after Accenture was brought in by the federal government to deliver the long-awaited and much-needed election modernisation program.

Accenture was awarded a standing offer with the Australian Electoral Commission running from the end of March to 30 March 2025.

The company also won a lucrative contract to develop the permissions capability for Home Affairs, with the first iteration of this serving to digitise incoming traveller Covid-19 declarations. This app has had a rocky start, receiving scathing reviews from users in the month since it was launched.

Accenture has a number of other significant pieces of work with the tax office, including on its ongoing digital identity play.

The company enjoyed a near-20 per cent increase in its federal government work in the 2021-22 financial year, scoring an extra $62 million in Commonwealth-procured contracts. Accenture was paid $371.5 million across 104 contracts in the last financial year, up from $309.9 million in 2019-20.


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