The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has called for the establishment of a 'name and shame' register for consulting firms that lose contracts due to breaches. 

The recommendation, aimed at improving accountability and transparency within the public sector, is part of an 11-point proposal submitted to a Senate inquiry focused on consulting practices.

The BCA, which has major consulting firms among its membership, wants the federal government to track and report on terminated consulting contracts and consider barring firms from future contracts in cases of serious misconduct. 

The council's submission also highlighted a need for better transparency in public sector tender processes and the development of specialist skills across the bureaucracy.

In his address to the committee in Canberra, BCA Chief Executive Bran Black emphasized the importance of maintaining a central register of contract breaches.

“[We] have called for maintaining breaches of contract in a central register. When combined with clear consequences for breaches, this will help uphold accountability, safeguard integrity, and maintain public trust in procurement,” he said.

The inquiry, sparked by the PwC tax leaks scandal, has raised concerns about the conflict of interest inherent in consulting firms advising the government on policy while also serving private clients. 

This has led the Albanese government to cut consulting and contractor spending by $3 billion annually, restrict consultants from core policy work, and establish an internal consulting arm.

The BCA's recommendations include standardising procurement contracts, providing clear guidelines for consultants on project deliverables, and developing a performance-based scorecard for service providers.

Inquiry chairman and Liberal senator Richard Colbeck has sought the BCA's input on the impact of the PwC scandal on auditing clients and specific policy recommendations.