Govt pays BCG $1m for telco supply chain work


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The federal government will pay American multinational Boston Consulting Group $125,000 a week to produce reports on Australia’s supply chain resilience around semiconductors and telecommunications equipment over the next two months as part of its flagship manufacturing strategy.

The $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) is the federal government’s program aiming to provide information on supply chains, identify gaps and take action to address them through grants funding.

The program is looking at any gaps in domestic and international supply chains, including long-term international supply contracting, domestic manufacturing and broader activities to improve information sharing and collaboration with industry.

The first round of grants for the program opened at the end of June, with medical and agricultural projects eligible after Deloitte was paid $242,000 to produce its own report on supply chain resilience in these sectors.

BCG will be analysing Australia’s telco equipment supply chain resilience

Boston Consulting Group has now won an eight-week contract worth $1.01 million to produce reports on the next tranche of the program, around semiconductors and telecommunications equipment.

“This analysis will be used to inform the development of policy options to address identified vulnerabilities in the supply chains for products in these categories, which may include grant funding through the second round of the SCRI grant program, which will open by the end of 2021,” an Industry department spokesperson told InnovationAus.

BCG has already been paid $330,000 for work on the SCRI, winning a four-week contract for a “first pass report” late last year.

The second tranche of the SCRI will also include water treatment chemicals, and Australian professional services firm GHD has been awarded a $385,000 contract over two months to provide a report on this sector.

Earlier this year Deloitte was paid $48,000 per week over five weeks – more than $242,000 – to deliver reports to the government on common medicine, personal protective equipment and agricultural production chemicals under the SCRI.

“This analysis helped inform the assessment of possible supply options to address identified vulnerabilities under round one of the SCRI grant program. Deloitte’s work contributed to this first tranche, specifically for common medicines,” an industry department spokesperson said.

Australia’s supply chain resilience and sovereign capability in manufacturing has been in the spotlight since the onset of the pandemic early last year.

The Modern Manufacturing Strategy is one the key planks of the federal government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan, including the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which will provide grants across six areas of advantage.

State governments are also investing heavily to address supply chain vulnerabilities and more broadly in local manufacturing.

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