Accenture gets a $7M govt deal for vaccine data work

After paying Accenture $8 million to deliver a Covid-19 vaccination data solution, the federal government will pay the global consulting firm another $7 million to make “minor modifications” to its vaccination ordering system.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said late last year that Accenture had been hired as the federal government’s digital and data lead for the vaccine rollout. This $7.8 million project entailed the Ireland-based company establishing a software solution to track the vaccination from injection delivery.

The technology is designed to provide “point in time” visibility of vaccine doses across the entire supply chain, including vaccine reception by health services, patient immunisation, and adverse response monitoring.

This solution, according to the Health Department, was supplied in February of this year.

However, there have been worries about the meagre amount of data available publicly on the vaccine deployment in Australia. The department only produces an infographic with basic information on an ad hoc basis.

The most recent vaccine rollout report, released on Thursday, includes information on the total number of vaccines given out, a state-by-state breakdown, international comparisons, and figures for aged care and primary care.

The government has now given Accenture a new contract worth $6.7 million for “vaccine data solution enhancements and support”.

According to a representative for the Health Department, Accenture has provided the Commonwealth with its vaccine ordering system for several years, and the new contract relates to efforts to integrate this platform with the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination deployment.

“The ordering solution involves various improvements, acknowledging the differences between routine vaccine distribution and the Covid-19 vaccine deployment, such as the program’s staged expansion through the phases,” the representative told InnovationAus.

“Plus, GPs, aged care and disability outreach, Commonwealth clinics, and state and territory clinics are included. As more points of presence, such as pharmacies, are added and a substantial expansion of the rollout with higher supplies in quarter four, this work will continue.

“The contract includes work to create and improve these systems, as well as support procedures to maintain their stability.”

Accenture’s vaccination data solution is built on Salesforce technology and comprises vaccination management and tracking platform, supply management, community education and engagement, contact management, analytics and reporting.

Many prominent multinational consultants have landed lucrative contracts due to the Australian government’s response to Covid-19 and the accompanying vaccine deployment.

PwC was named the vaccination rollout’s programme delivery partner in December of last year.

McKinsey, another prominent consulting firm, has earned many mRNA vaccine contracts, including one to construct a business case for establishing a local manufacturing capability and advise on the procurement process.

The Health Department also negotiated a $2 million contract with McKinsey to help manage the vaccination rollout late last year. Still, it was kept secret until recently, with the government blaming human error.

According to a representative for the Department of Health, many contracts are also not made public, who confirmed that procurements of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and related goods and services are exempt from public reporting requirements.

According to InnovationAus, during the pandemic in 2020, spending on global consulting firms surged by about 25%, with more than $1.21 billion spent in the calendar year.

The Boston Consulting Group was paid millions of dollars for its work on the COVIDSafe contact tracing software, while KPMG’s work with the Health Department increased by more than threefold.

In 2020, the federal government spent $358.4 million with Accenture, up roughly 15% over the previous year. The total value of contracts obtained by the Irish-based company was $786.4 million.

Accenture is also being paid $2.5 million per month for its work on the Australian Taxation Office’s digital identification programme, which is part of a $14 million contract for the first half of 2021.

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