ATO adds another $4.5m to EY ‘big data’ contract

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Big four consultancy Ernst & Young has been given another $4.5 million for its work on IT data and analytics for the tax office, which has again declined to provide any additional detail about the increasingly lucrative contract.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in June awarded EY a contract running to March next year worth $11.35 million, listed only as for the “provision of ICT professional services”. It later confirmed the work related to data and analytics services but declined to provide further details or deliverables.

On Tuesday the ATO published a $4.5 million amendment to the contract, which is now worth nearly $16 million for 10 months work.

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The ATO is now paying consultancy EY more than $1.5 million a month for a “big data’ project

An ATO spokesperson declined to provide deliverables of the contract, saying the more than $1.5 million it is paying EY each month is for “services for IT data and analytics requiring in-depth experience in big data and cloud services”.

The $4.5 million increase is for a change in resources needed for the project, but not an extension in contract length.

“A variation was required to increase resources, including critical roles, to support and deliver the scope for the data analytics platform strategy,” the spokesperson told InnovationAus.

The ATO said the international consultancy had been brought in to supplement its own capability.

“The ATO supplements its internal capability to deliver large programs of work, such as IT data and analytics, to ensure timely and efficient delivery,” the spokesperson said.

The tax office gave the same vague details after the contract was originally awarded in June, when it also said the amount of personnel working on the big data project would be a mater for the supplier, EY.

It is understood the original contract amount was for an estimate of the work with the amendment reflecting the type and level of resources provided by EY. That initial estimate has now increased by nearly 40 per cent.

EY has received several other large contracts and amendments from the ATO this year, including $4 million for a two-year “business intelligence and visualisation” project, and six extensions or additions to another two-year contract for systems integration work, taking the original $82,000 contract past $4 million.

The big four consultancy is also being paid $1 million by the ATO for a “digital experience and knowledge management platform advisor” in a deal that was topped up by more than a third last month.

Analysis of 2020 tender documents by InnovationAus found EY and fellow consultancy giants enjoyed a bumper year during the pandemic, which has continued in 2021 with several more high vale contracts and extensions across government.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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