Deep freeze: Consulting giants’ federal revenue smashed

James Riley
Editorial Director

The value of federal contracts awarded to global consulting giants plunged by more than $1.1 billion between the 2021 and 2023 calendar years, according to tender data collated by public sector market intelligence platform Tendertrace.

In a query of Commonwealth contracts awarded to consulting firms PwC, Scyne Advisory, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and McKinsey, Tendertrace found the value of contracts slumped from a 2021 Covid-era high of $1.78 billion in 2021 to $1.33 billion in 2022 and then $646 million in 2023.

The report underlines the effectiveness of the deep freeze applied to the global consultants by the Albanese government.

The full data presentation in the interactive Tendertrace report can be downloaded here.

Parliament House

Between 2021, the last full year before the election of the Albanese government (May 2022), and 2023, the first full year after Mr Albanese was elected, the value of federal contracts to these global giants plummeted by 64 per cent.

And while there was always going to be a retreat from the Covid-related spending with the consulting firms, the depth of the cuts to contract values between 2022 and 2023 underscores the effectiveness of the Albanese government clamp-down.

The value of contracts with these consulting giants dropped more than 51 per cent from 2022 ($1.33 billion) to 2023 ($646 million), a before and after picture of the spending by the new government.

The Department of Defence was the biggest spender on the services of global consulting giants, which actually increased its spend marginally between 2021 ($726.3 million) and 2022 ($742.6 million).

But even Defence radically cut spending with global consultants, dropping by 59 per cent to $304.9 million in 2023. This coincided with a dramatic reduction in the value contracts awarded to major Defence supplier KPMG by 45 per cent from 2022 ($499.8 million) to 2023 ($275.2 million).

Federal revenues of each of the consulting giants have taken a beating in the past three years.

The value of Deloitte contracts with the Commonwealth tumbled from a record $516.1 million in 2021 to $297.7 million in 2022 (a 42 per cent fall), and then to $198.5 million in 2023 (a further fall of 33 per cent).

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) won contracts worth $56.8 million in the final full year of the Morrison government in 2021, but fell 21 per cent to $44.8 million, and then dropping off a further 75 per cent to $11.1 million in 2023, the first full year of the Albanese government.

Similarly, the value of Ernst & Young contracts signed with the federal government in 2023 are worth about one-quarter of the value of contracts signed in that last Covid year of 2021.

EY signed contracts worth $390.8 million in 2021, which fell 38.5 per cent to $240.5 million in 2022 and then fell a further 60 per cent to $93.9 million in 2023.

The numbers for PwC and Scyne Advisory are skewed by the PwC accounting scandal and the off-loading of it federal consulting business. But the numbers were already off in 2022, before the scandal broke.

By any measure, these are huge shifts in revenue.

It is worth noting that from calendar year 2021 through to the end of calendar year 2023, some 3232 contracts were awarded to these consulting giants by the Commonwealth worth $3.76 billion.

More than 86 per cent of these contracts – or $3.2 billion – were awarded through panel arrangements.

The Tendertrace report can be downloaded here.

Note: is a partner of Tendertrace. The data in this report was curated by Tendertrace as requested by for reporting purposes. You can get a full demonstration of the Tendertrace market intelligence platform.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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