Exposing the Consultancy Cover-up


It started as a scandal in PwC’s tax division but the crisis of integrity in government consultancies has now engulfed the industry.

The Australian Government has spent billions of dollars on external contractors and consultants in recent years. But numerous allegations of unethical behaviour, which have been exposed in ongoing parliamentary inquiries, suggest major changes are needed to how the public service develops policy and conducts government work.

Greens Senator for South Australia Barbara Pocock has played a critical role in uncovering misconduct in the consulting industry. Join Senator Pocock, Democracy & Accountability Program Director Bill Browne, and Australia Institute Deputy Director Ebony Bennett for an in-depth discussion about the problematic relationship between governments and consultants, and the importance of the Senate in exposing unethical practices.


  • Senator Barbara Pocock
    Barbara Pocock is a Greens Senator for South Australia and the Greens Spokesperson for Finance, Employment and Public Sector. Barbara is an economist and Emeritus Professor who has worked in universities, shearing sheds, the Reserve Bank, on farms, in unions, for the government and as a mother and carer.
  • Bill Browne
    Bill Browne is Director of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. His diverse areas of interest include the use of opinion polling, carbon capture and storage, truth in political advertising reforms, digital technology, proportionate fines and the role of the states and the Senate in Australian democracy. Prior to coming to the Australia Institute, he worked as an environmental, social, governance (ESG) analyst.
  • Ebony Bennett
    Ebony Bennett is deputy director of the Australia Institute and host of its popular webinar series and Follow the Money podcast. Beginning her career as a journalist in the Canberra press gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review, Ebony has worked in federal politics in a variety of roles for almost 20 years and has published research on climate change and energy, gender and street harassment and contributed a chapter to Morrison’s Miracle: The 2019 Australian Federal Election (ANU Press 2020) and The Nordic Edge: Policy Possibilities for Australia (MUP 2021). Ebony is a regular commentator and contributor across broadcast and print media, she appears regularly as a commentator on ABC and Sky News and has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times.


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