Global consultancy PwC, which holds multi-million dollar public contracts in New Zealand, has signed an alliance with United States data mining giant Palantir.
PwC is one of the world’s Big Four consultancies and is currently embroiled in a tax scandal across the Tasman.
In Australia, PwC has axed partners and is dealing with the fallout from being exposed repeatedly leaking confidential government tax plans for its own benefit.
Palantir, co-founded by US billionaire and New Zealand citizen Peter Thiel, has huge deals with American defence, immigration and spy agencies within the Five Eyes network that New Zealand is part of.
The two firms said their new alliance matched Palantir’s AI with PwC’s “industry experience”‘.
“Unlocking the power of disparate data to improve strategic and operational decision making is paramount,” Palantir told Businesswire.
Palantir, capitalised at $57 billion, often tops the list of artificial intelligence investments in the US.
It said last month its focus was to “embarrass” its competitors to work with the US government – “we’re doing very well here, you should also get involved”.
Palantir was telling US lawmakers that “way too few of our dollars are being spent on AI”, its co-founder Alex Karp told CNBC.
In 2020, Karp admitted the firm worked with US authorities to locate undocumented migrants as part of mass raids.
That same year, in New Zealand, Palantir [https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/420112/new-zealand-government-sat-on-palantir-covid-19-data-tracking-offer
offered to help the government with Covid tracking], as it was already doing in 15 countries – an offer not taken up, officials here said.
Instead, Amazon did a lot of Covid tracking work here, and went on this year to win a key Te Whatu Ora/ Health New Zealand cloud computing contract.
Palantir worked for almost nothing on Covid with United Kingdom and other governments, and is now poised to potentially win a $630m contract to manage NHS health data.
in June, PwC in Australia was slated in a Senate inquiry for “aggressively” monetising confidential Treasury briefings. “The desire for personal gain trumped any obligation” to the government and taxpayers, the Senate inquiry report said.
Janek Ratnatunga, chief executive of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants in Australia and New Zealand, said the scandal showed it was time to “seriously regulate” the Big Four professional service networks – PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst Young, EY.
“Why are governments getting advice on policy matters, especially on tax policy, from the very consultants from the Big 4, who will be advising clients on how to take advantage of such policies?” Ratnatunga asked.
Newsroom reported that officials from New Zealand Government Procurement had received verbal assurances from PwC New Zealand that it was not involved in the Australian tax information leaks and nothing similar had happened here. The government procurement agency is monitoring developments.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/499560/global-consultancy-pwc-forms-alliance-with-us-data-mining-giant Global consultancy PwC forms alliance with US data mining giant