PwC was paid more than $312 million through federal government contracts last financial year, capping off a three-year pandemic period where it’s Commonwealth business skyrocketed by 63 per cent.
The record year included being paid $11,000 a day by the Industry department to assess government grants, and a lucrative contract from the Health department for help with the government’s bungled vaccine roll out.
The vaccine rollout and one other COVID contract alone netted PwC nearly $20 million – or $65,000 a day – in a bumper COVID year that saw the value of the company’s total federal contracts increase by 38 per cent year-on-year, and a startling 63 per cent since the start of the pandemic.
The UK multinational joined fellow Big Four consultant KPMG in receiving almost $1 million every day from federal departments and agencies in 2021 -22.
The figures are based on AusTender data analysis by InnovationAus.com and represent the actual dollar amount paid to KPMG during the financial year, rather than the value of the contracts awarded in the year.
PwC held lucrative deals across government, with its most valuable individual contracts coming from the Defence, Health and Finance departments.
The most lucrative was for PwC to be the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program delivery partner. While signed in late 2020, the Health department declined to provide almost any information on the contract, and only released basic contract details after media scrutiny.
The original value of $11.4 million has climbed to $18.4 million over multiple extensions and was paying PwC more than $28,000 every day for nearly two years up until last month. In total, the Health department paid PwC $29.4 million last financial year through more than two-dozen contracts.
The Department of Finance also paid PwC more than $9 million last financial year for “commercial and financial advice” on the delivery of Centres for National Resilience, the quarantine facilities used around the country last year but no longer operating.
Another PwC contract to attract criticism last financial year was a near-$2 million arrangement with the Industry department for “surge capacity”. When revealed by InnovationAus.com that the work included PwC providing staff to assist in assessing government grants, it was slammed by the public sector union and Labor senators.
The six month contract paid PwC more than $11,000 every day.
Most of the consulting firm’s $312.7 million in federal revenue came from the Department of Defence, which held 93 contracts with PwC, worth $120 million combined over the last financial year.
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