Four-in-five Australians (79%) want consulting firm PwC banned from receiving new government work, including nearly half who back a permanent ban, according to new research from the Australia Institute.
Just 2% did not think PwC should be banned from government work, while 19% did not know or were not sure, according to the nationally representative sample of 1002 people between June 6 and 9 2023.
Of those surveyed, 45% thought the ban should be permanent while the remainder backed PwC being banned for at least some period of time, either less than two years (5%), between two and five years (12%), or between five and 10 years (16%).
“There is overwhelming public support for PwC to face serious consequences for its gross breach of integrity and trust,” said Bill Browne, Director of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.
“The consequences for PwC’s abuse of public trust cannot be limited to when the political and media heat is on, but must be long-lasting to show that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The consulting firm has shown it cannot be trusted to continue receiving government work that can and should be performed by public servants,” said Mr Browne.
A permanent ban on PwC receiving government work was the single most popular response across all voting intentions:
- One Nation (59%), the Greens (55%), Independent/Other (55%), the Coalition (43%) and Labor (39%).
The findings build on previous Australia Institute polling that showed:
- 79% agreed that public servants should have the skills and capacity to do work being outsourced to consultants
- 72% thought the $1 billion spent by the federal government on consultants was too much and 64% thought the money would be better spending hiring and training public servants
- 85% agreed that consultants should be required to answer questions about their work when requested by parliament or other inquiries
The Australia Institute is a member of the Australian Polling Council. The polling methodology, long disclosure statement and margin of error for polling questions are included in the appendix of the report.