Accenture’s government contracts up $62m in the last year


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

Accenture enjoyed a near-20 per cent increase in its federal government work in the last year, with the Irish-domiciled tech consultancy landing an extra $62 million in Commonwealth-procured contracts.

An investigation of AusTender contracts by InnovationAus.com has found that the federal government paid Accenture $371.5 million across 104 contracts in the 2020-21 financial year.

This was up from the $309.9 million that Accenture was paid in the previous financial year, an increase of $61.598 million.

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These figures relate to the actual dollar amount paid to Accenture in the financial year, rather than the value of the contracts awarded in the year.

The 2020-21 financial year was the first full reporting period in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bulk of Accenture’s contracts came from the Department of Defence, Services Australia and the Department of Home Affairs, with the global consultancy working across major government projects including the permissions capability, the digital identity scheme and the vaccine rollout.

Nearly half of the money paid to Accenture in the last financial year came from the Department of Defence, with $156.9 million paid in total. This was slightly up from the $145.2 million Accenture landed from Defence in the previous financial year.

These contracts with Defence include on which saw Accenture paid $10.8 million across 150 days in the 2020-21 financial year as part of a four-year contract for “vetting transformation prime systems integrator” worth nearly $120 million. This equates to Accenture being paid $72,000 per day for this work.

Another Defence contract for “IT technical remediation” saw Accenture bag more than $30,000 per day across 43 days in the financial year.

The value of Accenture’s contracts with Home Affairs more than doubled in the last financial year, up to $10.3 million. This growth is set to continue, with Accenture awarded a number of lucrative contracts as part of its work on the permissions capability in the current financial year.

The consultancy was also paid $16 million by Services Australia, up from $11.7 million in 2020-21.

Accenture also enjoyed significant amounts of work from the Australian Taxation Office, across a number of projects including its digital identity play, superannuation change program and the consolidation of business registers.

Included in this was work on the digital identity program which saw Accenture paid more than $3 million per month across a $50 million contract, a $31.5 million contract extension over just three months, $35 million for work on the tax office’s online platform and $28 million for the superannuation change program.

One contract with the ATO, listed as being for “ITX / ITAPS performance” work, netted Accenture $40 million in the financial year.

The Department of Health handed Accenture an $11 million contract extension for Accenture’s work on the controversial My Health Record, bringing the total bill for this work to $641 million over a decade.

A significant contract with Services Australia bagged Accenture $1.6 million across 57 days, equating to $28,000 per day, listed as simply being for “IT services”.

InnovationAus analysis has also found that fellow consulting giant Boston Consulting Group more than doubled its revenue from the federal government in the 2020-21 financial year, an increase of $39 million.

McKinsey also increased its revenue by more than 75 per cent, up by $58.6 million.

Big four consultancy PwC has enjoyed a jump of 20 per cent year-on-year, with the firm earning $228 million from Commonwealth contracts in 2020-21.

InnovationAus.com has taken all of the contracts active during the 2020-21 financial year reporting period to conduct this analysis. For contracts which ran over more than one reporting period, the total contract value was divided by the total number of days in the contract to get the per-day value of each contract.

InnovationAus.com then calculated how many days each contract was active in a particular reporting period and multiplied this by the per-day value of the contract.

The current system of contract disclosure is opaque and difficult to track. The methodology used by InnovationAus.com is a better indicator of the growth in the use of multinational management consultants and Big Four tech service delivery firms than the government provides.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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