PwC’s $8.7m Australian aged care data contract raises conflict of interest concerns

As reported by The Guardian, PwC has been awarded an $8.7m contract to collect commercial data from Australian aged care providers to help set new service prices. The move has raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest, as another division of the consultancy firm is simultaneously selling pricing advice to the industry.

The contract could give PwC access to sensitive pricing information subject to secrecy provisions, while the firm is still defending itself against allegations that it profited from sharing confidential government tax policy with clients.

Senators and unions have called on the government to ensure that PwC does not use insider knowledge gained from its work for the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) to commercialise services.

In response to these concerns, the Australian government said that PwC staff members who breach the confidentiality deed could be subject to financial and custodial penalties under the secrecy provisions of the National Health Reform Act 2011.

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