Home Deals Govt spent $29b on tech contracts over five years

Govt spent $29b on tech contracts over five years

The federal government spent $29.5 billion on contracts for tech-related services in the period 2102-13 to 2016-17, according to a report issued by the Australian National Audit Office.

The amount was spent for IT, broadcasting, telecommunications, engineering, research and technology-based services in the period mentioned.

More than $3 billion was spent on software alone, with components for IT, broadcasting and telecommunications topping the list at $3.5 billion. Software maintenance and support cost about $2.9 billion.

Big amounts were also paid out to consultants in the 2012-13 to 2016-17 period, with Accenture taking home $1.19 billion for all its supplier contracts. For tech-related projects alone, the company that earned the most taxpayer dollars was Price Waterhouse Coopers which earned $174 million.

Microsoft earned $245 million through its consulting work during the period mentioned.

Multinational companies wallowed in the gravy, with IBM earning $2.14 billion over the five years for 692 tech-related contracts. Close behind was Boeing which pulled in $1.6 billion for 165 contracts.

But when it came to all contracts, Boeing's earnings went up to $4.2 billion. Another American company, Lockheed Martin, earned $1.13 billion from 260 contracts.

The government forked out $10.35 billion for buying military assets from abroad, with a good amount of that presumably being for the Joint Strike Fighter planes.

Oracle Corporation earned $532 million for 674 contracts while Hewlett Packard pulled in $597 million for 1517 contracts.

The Defence Department spent the most on tech-related contracts over the five years, dishing out $15 billion on services.

Overall, spending on tech-related projects fell for the latest year, 2016-17; in 2015-16 the figure was a litle over $7 billion but this fell to under $6 billion in 2016-017.

The full report can be seen here.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.