PwC’s fed govt contracts up nearly 50 per cent in 2021


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

PwC’s revenue from federal government work jumped by nearly 50 per cent in 2021, with the Big Four consultancy enjoying an $88 million increase in federal business in a single year.

UK-based multinational PriceWaterhouseCoopers was paid a total of $277.641 million in 2021 across 322 active contracts, according to an analysis of AusTender data by InnovationAus.com.

This was an increase of $87.99 million over 2020, when it landed $189.65 million from 255 Commonwealth contracts.

money
Money, money, money

These figures relate to the actual dollar amount paid to PwC during the 2021 calendar year, rather than the value of all contracts awarded to the firm in the year.

The 2021 analysis reveals a continued trend of more money going to large consultancies since Covid-19 hit the previous year.

More than a third of PwC’s government work came from the Department of Defence, with the multinational paid more than $100 million by Defence in 2021. This was a sharp increase from the $76.8 million PwC earned from Defence in the previous year.

PwC’s revenue from the Department of Health more than doubled year-on-year, hitting $30 million in 2021, thanks largely to a Covid-19 vaccination rollout contract that saw the company land $11 million in the year.

The consultancy’s revenue from Services Australia also increased from $11.9 million to $16 million in 2021.

The Department of Veteran Affairs provided PwC $12.2 million across a number of contracts in 2021, including one worth $6.4 million over just 180 days.

Some of PwC’s most lucrative contracts in the last year included a $6.4 million job for the ABS over 270 days for census services, and a $5.4 million deal over 160 days with the Department of Agriculture for being a “transformation blueprint strategic partner”.

The Department of Defence paid PwC $4.4 million for 90 days’ work on an ICT security contractor contract, and $4.2 million over 180 days for program management office support.

PwC received $3.8 million from the Industry department in the last calendar year. This included a number of controversial contracts for internal work which led to concerns over the “privatisation-by-stealth” of the Department.

As part of one of these contracts, PwC was paid $105,000 in a fortnight to provide six staff members to assist with the assessment and management of a number of grants programs.

In the 2020-21 financial year PwC saw its contracts with the Department of Health more than double, and an overall increase of 20 per cent from the previous year. The company earned $228 million in 2020-21, an increase of $36 million from 2019-20.

To calculate these figures, InnovationAus.com has taken all of the contracts active in the 2021 calendar year. For contracts running over multiple years, the total contract value was divided by the total number of days in the contract to get a per-day value for each contract.

InnovationAus.com then calculated how many days each contract was active in the 2021 calendar year and multiplied this by the per day value.

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.

PwC in particular is difficult to track, as its contracts are listed on AusTender under numerous different names. These different names include PwC, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and PwC strategy. This makes it more difficult to search for PwC’s government contracts.

InnovationAus.com analysis also recently revealed that EY enjoyed a 109 per cent increase in its federal government revenue in 2021, a jump of $124.9 million.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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