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The Federal Government has awarded more than $700,000 to “PwC’s Indigenous Consulting” as it moves to resume contracts to disgraced consultancy PwC Australia, despite ongoing criminal investigations.

Government procurement site AusTender has been updated to show PwC’s Indigenous Consulting — which the Department of Finance claims is “separate” to PwC Australia — has been given two new taxpayer funded contracts totalling $711,544.

The new contracts were published Tuesday — the same day the Department of Finance issued a surprise “procurement policy note” which also paves the way for “PwC Australia” to resume receiving Federal contracts.

Also that same day, the Federal Government’s lobbyist register was updated to show PwC Australia had engaged a political lobbying firm, which is run by two former senior ALP staffers.

The two contracts to PwC’s Indigenous Consulting are from the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), which is overseen by Anthony Albanese’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).

They are a “limited tender” $19,250 contract for a “three-day workshop”; and $692,304.10 contract for “strategic planning consultation services”, at cost of more than $160,000 a month.

They are the first PwC-related contracts to be posted to AusTender since The Klaxon and Crikey in October last year revealed PwC’s Indigenous Consulting had been given a new $121,000 contract from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

The Finance “procurement policy note”, exclusively revealed by The Klaxon and Crikey yesterday, both approves PwC’s Indigenous Consulting to be awarded new Federal contracts and paves the way for “PwC Australia” to again be given Federal Government work — and from as early as December 1.

The Department of Finance, which oversees all Commonwealth procurement, has claimed PwC’s Indigenous Consulting is “separate” to PwC — echoing claims from PwC itself — but provided no evidence to support that claim.

Responding to yesterday’s expose, Greens Senator Barbara Pocock, who is a member of the ongoing Senate inquiry into consultancies, hit out at PwC Australia’s “egregious betrayals”.

“It’s premature to consider paying PwC after the firm’s egregious betrayals to the Australian people and their gov(ernment),” Pocock posted to social media.

“Especially when the government hasn’t done enough to address the misconduct”.

“It’s premature to consider paying PwC after the firm’s egregious betrayals” – Senator Barbara Pocock

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Senator Pocock responds to our expose yesterday. Source: Twitter/X


In January last year it was revealed PwC had sold confidential Australian Government tax policy information it obtained while giving “advice” on stopping multinationals avoiding Australian tax — and sold it for millions to multinationals seeking to avoid Australian tax.

Finance issued the open-ended “effective ban” on PwC on May 19 last year, with the government facing extreme public pressure over a perceived failure to act.

In a much heralded move, PwC last year “divested its government business” of 1,400 PwC partners and staff, selling it for the nominal sum of $1 to private equity group Allegro, which rebranded the business Scyne Advisory.

It was widely considered PwC would no longer be given any Federal Government contracts.

Yet Tuesday’s shock procurement policy note states Finance has signed a “mutual agreement” with PwC Australia that it won’t bid for any new Commonwealth work “until at least until 1 December 2024”.

“PwC Australia has agreed with the Commonwealth that it will temporarily cease new contract engagements with Australian Government entities captured by the Commonwealth Procurement Rules until 1 December 2024,” it states.

It makes no mention of why any “agreement” with PwC was required.

The note also states that Finance has “separately” conducted a “review” into PwC Indigenous Consulting — and determined it “appropriate” it be given Federal contracts.

“Finance…found that it was appropriate for the Commonwealth to continue engaging with PwC Indigenous,” it states, providing no further information.

When contacted by The Klaxon, Finance boss Jenny Wilkinson refused to comment when asked whether she had approved that decision, and if not, whether she considered it “appropriate for the Commonwealth to continue engaging with PwC’s Indigenous Consulting”.

Last financial year Wilkinson received a taxpayer salary of $765,916.

Department of Finance Secretary Jenny Wilkinson. Source: ABC News/Nick Haggarty


The move by Finance paves the way for millions of dollars of new taxpayer funds to flow to PwC Australia’s partners.

“Millions of dollars of taxpayer funds can now flow to PwC Australia’s partners”

PwC’s Indigenous Consulting (PIC) was created in 2013 by Luke Sayers, who was PwC Australia CEO from 2012 to 2022, and so for the entire tax leaks affair.

According to PwC, PIC “provides trusted advice to government” on “Indigenous matters” and “aims to be an emblem for Indigenous self-determination”.

The NIAA said PwC’s Indigenous Consulting was “separate” to PwC, yet like Finance and PwC provided no supporting evidence to support the claim.

We put questions to NIAA CEO Jody Broun this week, including why it had given $711,544 of taxpayer money to an arm of PwC.

We were told simply: “PIC is a separate entity to Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia”.

“PIC is a separate entity to PwC Australia” — NIAA

NIAA CEO Jody Broun. Source: YouTube


PwC’s Indigenous Consulting operates from PwC’s Sydney headquarters, shares a website with PwC Australia, has PwC Australia partners as directors and is 49% owned by PwC Australia.

As previously revealed, the remaining 51% is owned by just two people, both Indigenous.

That allows it to access “limited tender” Federal contracts intended for small Indigenous businesses. (Indigenous “ownership” of “at least 51%” is required to access the scheme).

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PIC’s ownership structure, including Gavin Brown (top) and Selwyn Button (right). Source: ASIC Graphic: The Klaxon


No Federal Government contracts to “PwC Australia” have been reported on AusTender since the “effective ban” in May last year.

PwC’s Indigenous Consulting continued receiving Federal contracts — at least until The Klaxon and Crikey revealed it had on September 8 been given a new $121,000 contract from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

There were no contracts to PwC Indigenous Consulting listed in the eight months from then until Tuesday.

(PwC’s Indigenous Consulting had also received a $745,293 contract on May 23 last year, four days after the “effective ban”, and a $91,982 contract on August 30 last year. Both were from the NIAA).

Since 2015 PwC’s Indigenous Consulting has been given over $44 million in Federal contracts AusTender shows, including a record $13.78m in 2022 alone.


More on PwC’s Indigenous Consulting:


October 10 PwC’s “Indigenous” gets $121,000 taxpayer contract

September 7 Meet the owners of PwC’s Indigenous Consulting

September 4 PwC’s “Voice” given $837k in new contracts

August 30 PwC’s multi-million “Voice to Parliament”


In its response this week, the NIAA said Finance had “concluded it was appropriate for the Commonwealth to continue engaging” with PwC’s Indigenous Consulting.

“The (NIAA) confirms that it published two contracts on AusTender with PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ Indigenous Consulting (PIC) on 30 April 2024,” it states.

“One contract ($19,250) was for PIC to assist with the facilitation of a three-day workshop for the Office of Township Leasing.

“Another contract ($692,304.10) is for PIC to assist with the planning, facilitation and outcomes of a National Strategy in remote First Nations communities in partnership with state and territorial governments and First Nations Health Organisations”.

A string of investigations by regulators, including a criminal investigation by the Australian Federal Police, remain ongoing – with none completed to date.

Five weeks ago the Senate inquiry into consultancies, overseen by members of every Australian political party, including Senator Pocock, issued a highly damning interim report.

Titled “PwC: The Cover-up Worsens the Crime”, the March 28 report found there were vast, ongoing problems at PwC, including a “failure to genuinely change”.

“PwC have still made no genuine effort to fully investigate and address the issues,” it reported just five weeks ago.

“PwC have still made no genuine effort to fully investigate and address the issues” – Senate inquiry

“The committee does not see how PwC can recover their reputation while it continues to cover up”.

Also on Tuesday, along with the Finance note and the new PwC’s Indigenous Consulting contracts, the Federal lobbyists register was updated.

It shows PwC Australia has engaged lobbying firm Brookline Consulting, run by Lidija Ivanovski, former chief-of-staff to Labor deputy leader, and now also Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles; and Gerard Richardson, who until March last year was communications director to Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

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Anthony Klan

Editor, The Klaxon

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