Conroy denies McKinsey NBN conspiracy

Conroy denies McKinsey NBN conspiracy

Summary: Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy today denied that McKinsey & Co's role in the National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation study, as well as three former partners on the NBN Co board, amounted to a conspiracy.

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Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy today denied that McKinsey & Co's role in the National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation study, as well as three former partners on the NBN Co board, amounted to a conspiracy.

"There was one IT blog that thought there was a conspiracy because McKinsey was doing [the implementation study] and was employed by NBN Co," said Conroy. "Can I just say that the lead advisor is employed by my department, not by NBN Co."

The minister made his comments standing next to NBN Co's chief Mike Quigley, as the two announced the first five mainland towns selected for "live trials" as part of the NBN build.

"There was a conspiracy kicked around there for a while that McKinsey was taking over the world. McKinsey is not employed by NBN Co, and was never employed by NBN Co. They were employed by my department to give us a report," Conroy said, clarifying that it was actually the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy which had entered into an agreement with the consultant.

Conroy had announced on 6 August the appointment of two former McKinsey partners as directors of the NBN Co, and on the same day announced that McKinsey, along with KPMG, had won the lead advisor role for its NBN implementation study.

In December last year, Conroy also announced that a third former McKinsey partner, Clem Doherty, had been appointed to NBN Co's board.

The NBN Co also appointed Christy Boyce, former McKinsey principal consultant, as its head of industry engagement.

Conroy said he was still waiting to receive the report by KPMG and McKinsey, which was due at the end of February.

"We haven't actually received it yet," said Conroy. "We're expecting it very shortly."

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

13 comments
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  • McKinsey NBN Co

    Renai,
    I think you will find the lawyers pouring over your blog comments in the morning.
    Conflict of interest is one thing, but a conspiracy!
    I wait with baited breath for the outcome.
    ChrisC
    anonymous
  • hmm

    Why does it seem that everything Conroy does is suspect in one way or another.

    Internet censorship, NBN and the seperation, money to FTA...
    anonymous
  • conspiracy or happy coincidence?

    Conroy would have you believe that its happy coincidence while he stands there sweeping it under the carpet.

    nothing is a coincidence, but im sure conroy will call it what he will.
    anonymous
  • Election soon.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. I also notice Conroy said he will read the report first before he decides if he will release it to the public.
    anonymous
  • Conroy

    I dont believe a word that comes from this tyrannical, lying ,censorship loving conman.
    He has lied , and lied again , and again. When is the audit and monitoring of this happening ?.
    Im scared to be censored , Im scared of what this government is able to do, and Im concerned about the way they dont listen to experts before putting in to practice however and whatever they like , disregarding its citizens, and blatently lying to achieve their agenda of suppression and domination.
    anonymous
  • Weasel Words

    Conroy can read?

    NBN full of consultants=FAIL

    My experience is that they sound "real fine" but seem to be unable to deliver to the rhetoric. We wil see lots of powerpoint presentations, vision statements and graphs but never a deliverable.
    anonymous
  • re hmm

    Because that is what it is, Stephen !
    anonymous
  • re Conroy

    This man has got to go ! Thank God he had nothing to do with the Insulation debacle.
    anonymous
  • It's a joke

    When is someone going to admit the true cost of domestic subscription to the NBN? It will be great for businesses, but more expensive than existing broadband services. Why should taxpayers be funding something most of us won't be able to afford? The NBN should have been a commercially-funded, user-pays service.
    anonymous
  • Jobs for the boys or what

    So what we have here is another example of someone Conroy has worked closely with getting a nice little earner on another project he has been involved in.
    anonymous
  • Re Insulation Debate

    If Mr Conroy was involved he would have filtered it and no one would have known
    anonymous
  • Reasoning...

    The reason everything about this stinks is because Conroy has started with a venture using a filter that no-one wants & no-one trusts him with this.

    Therefore Conroy stinks!
    anonymous
  • Best comment so far...

    The one above, not mine but I do think that the scandal surrounding the NBN's filtering deserves the same response from the media in papers as they are giving the insulation debate.

    Why isn't it getting this media coverage?
    anonymous