The tax office will pay big four consultancy Deloitte more than $1 million per month over the next year to help it with agency-wide data and analytics, despite employing more than 600 of its own staff in the program it has been running since 2015.
The global consultancy was awarded two lucrative contracts in October by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for data and analytics services, with both running for a year.
Together, the contracts are worth more than $16.5 million.
A spokesperson for the ATO said both the contracts are for services supporting the tax office’s Smarter Data Program of Work, but did not say how many contractors would be used or what would be delivered.
Running since 2015, the Smarter Data program is an ATO division headed by its own deputy commissioner and last year included 621 ATO staff. Its remit is to use data and analytics across the organisation to improve decisions, services and compliance outcomes.
Deloitte was awarded a $2.3 million contract in July last year, which was extended and increased several times, eventually reaching $6.8 million for 14 months work on the Smarter Data program.
The big four consultancy will now effectively be paid more than double this rate through two new Smarter Data contracts, one for $6.4 million and another for $10.2 million. It is unclear why the work was split over two contracts, which both run for the exact same time.
The ATO spokesperson declined to say what either contract’s deliverables are, only that they relate to the agency wide data and analytics program.
“These contracts…are for services to support the Smarter Data Program of Work,” an ATO spokesperson told InnovationAus.
The ATO, which has historically employed 500 to 600 of its own staff in the Smarter Data business area, will have no input on how many personnel Deloitte assigns to the work.
“These contracts are for the provision of specified services and, as such, the decision on the number of personnel required to provide these services is a matter for the supplier,” the spokesperson said.
The tax office said it needs the outside help to ensure delivery of the program is on time and target.
“The ATO supplements its internal capability to deliver large programs of work, such as the Smarter Data Program of Work, to ensure timely and efficient delivery,” the ATO spokesperson said.
The tax office is also relying heavily on outside help for its business register consolidation program and last week awarded consultancy EY a $4.5 million extension for a “data analytics platform strategy”.
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