PwC Scandal has Ramifications for VicGov but Treasurer 1st to Stumble

Updated 03/08/2023

The scandal should be a wake-up call to all Governments across Australia.  The use of consultants, such as PwC, is a legacy of the neoliberal push to cut public service numbers and replace with external for-profit consultants. 

The result is a complex web of competing obligations. 

Fulfilling obligations when competing to make a profit for the company and its shareholders and providing Governments with professional frank and fearless advice.

The two cannot co-exist.

The scandal involving PwC so strongly demonstrates this.

Governments at all levels should take heed and invest these scarce public resources to rebuild public service capability.  

Governments must ensure a return to honest and frank advice where the policy is foremost, not the profit.

The State Treasurer has however been the first to stumble, letting contracts to KPMG to lead the consultation with stakeholders around the 2nd phase Gig Economy Workforce Reforms so close on the heals of advising on the legislative drafting.

Haven't we just endured a budget that imposes continuing savings demands on Departments including a commitment that ending consultancy reliance was part of these savings.

Wtf

Dear Stakeholder,

The Victorian Government is seeking to undertake consultation to support a Legislative Impact Assessment as part of its next phase of reforms to implement its response to the Inquiry into the Victorian On-Demand Workforce.

The Victorian Government previously released a roadmap setting out how it will progress the following reforms:

·           Phase One – the Voluntary Fair Conduct Accountability Standards were released and commenced operating from early 2023 alongside the Gig Worker Support Service which began its operation in the Department of Premier and Cabinet (completed).

·           Phase Two – engage with stakeholders and undertake analysis to inform a potential legislative model, within Victoria’s capacity to legislate, to support the Voluntary Fair Conduct Accountability Standards and the transfer of the operational functions performed by the Gig Worker Support Service to the Wage Inspectorate Victoria (subject of this consultation).

KPMG has been contracted to support this upcoming process. Consultation is expected to commence in August and will follow a roundtable format.

If you would like to participate in the discussions, please contact KPMG directly (details below) and they will provide you with the necessary information.