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They want how much for that independent review we did? Tell 'em they're dreamin'.

How much would you expect to pay KPMG for an independent review of the Fair Work Investigation into Thomson and the HSU.

You have no idea?   Don't feel bad, neither did Bernadette O'Neill.  

On 15 February 2011 she gave evidence to the Senate Estimates hearing in which she announced that KPMG had the job.

Her staff probably got a bit narky.   Here's a link to the complete Brief Ms O'Neill received about how badly she was outside procurement guidelines.

KPMG oneill

That document went on to say:


6 March and they reckon it will cost minimum $100,000.

Weeks of negotiations and "scope creep" followed.   Handwritten notes made by Ms O'Neill in her work journal/diary - and released under FOI record this entry headed "KPMG Jeremy/Robin 2/5 (May)."

$480K Max apparently agreed with KPMG on 2 May. 

2 may 2012 oneill


The actual Work Order or effective contract was signed by both parties on 10 May 2012.  Here it is:

10 may 2012

$430,000 agreed in a formal written contract on 10 May, 2012.

Which makes this evidence given to the Senate Committee in writing on 29 May 2012 inexplicable.

Here is the record showing the date the statement of answers to Senator Abetz's questions on notice was lodged with the committee - 29 May.

Senate estimates

And here is the document in full.   Ms O'Neill bears responsibility for its accuracy.

Whole senate answer

It does not seem an honest or prudent answer given that a contract for $430,000 was already in existence.

The Austender website entries for FWA and KPMG are not helpful - that in itself provides some insight into how far outside normal procurement guidelines this "deal" fell.

Given KPMG was recommended personally by Val Gostencnik and no tender was called for, this matter is screaming out for proper audit and inclusion in a judicial inquiry into the broader HSU/union related scandal.

Just so the depression isn't given a chance to settle in, let's leave the last word on cost analysis and contractual negotiations to Darryl Kerrigan.