Accenture wins big via ATO during pandemic year

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

Accenture landed a series of prominent contracts with the Australian Taxation Office during 2020, with the Irish-headquartered consulting giant increasing its government work significantly last year.

The federal government’s overall spend with Accenture reached $358.4 million in the 2020 pandemic year, up nearly 15 per cent from the previous year. But the overall value of contracts awarded to Accenture in 2020 was $786.4 million.

The bulk of Accenture’s work in 2020 came from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), with a number of large contracts signed late in the year and not properly kicking in until 2021.

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To calculate these figures, InnovationAus analysed all contracts active in 2019 and 2020 as posted to, in order to investigate the use of contractors and consultants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the yearly spend, InnovationAus measured the length of each contract, calculated the daily expenditure for that work, and multiplied that figure by the number of days each contract was active during the periods being investigated.

Last year was shaped by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the focus and spending of the government centred on the health crisis. There was a significant uptick in the reliance on outsourcing and private consultants across a range of departments and projects, particularly those involved with the direct response to the pandemic.

Overall, government contracts increased by more than $20 billion or 6 per cent, reaching $331.275 billion in 2020.

Accenture enjoyed a sharp uptick in work with the ATO in 2020, with the total value of this work in that year increased by just under 40 per cent compared to 2019. Accenture received about $187.5 million from work with the ATO last year alone, making up more than half of its overall government work.

Contracts that Accenture landed with the ATO included for digital delivery solutions, computer services, Horizon Web Scanning services and the business registries improvement program.

Of the contracts actually signed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Accenture landed two deals worth more than $40 million each.

The consulting firm will be paid $40.5 million for a computer services single touch payroll and super program of work, and a further $43.3 million for “ITX / ITAPS performance testing PoW”.

Both of these contracts were signed late in 2020, with the bulk of the work to be conducted in the following years.

Accenture also landed a $2.2 million contract for the provision of computer services, and a $3.4 million job offering strategic support services.

The firm saw a significant decrease in the value of its work with the Department of Defence in 2020, falling from $126.9 million in 2019 to $92.3 million last year, equating to a near 30 percent drop.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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