Beleaguered consultancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers has ordered nine partners out immediately and apologized to Australians as the fallout from its tax advice scandal continues.
PwC Australia’s acting chief executive Kristin Stubbins issued an open letter on Monday apologizing on behalf of the company for the leak of confidential information about the government’s tax policy.
“In particular, I apologize to the community; to the Australian Government for breaching their confidentiality; To our customers any questions it may raise about our integrity and credibility,” Ms. Stubbins wrote.
“And to the 10,000 hardworking partners and employees at PwC Australia who stand by those values who have been unfairly affected.”
Stubbins’ letter comes after Treasury last week referred former PwC executive Peter Collins to the Australian Federal Police.
AFP has confirmed that Mr Collins has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of sharing sensitive Commonwealth information about changes to tax law with partners, employees and clients who would be affected by them.
PwC also announced on Monday that it has ordered nine partners to leave, with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
These partners include the members of the executive board and governing board of the company.
However, Ms Stubbins is reportedly resisting calls to reveal the names of PwC employees involved in the scandal.
“I fully understand and accept PwC’s requests to release the names of the individuals in the emails released by the Senate on May 2,” he said.
“Some have assumed that people whose names have been redacted will necessarily be involved in wrongdoing. This is wrong.”
The Greens are pushing for a list of 36 PwC partners named in emails relating to the leaking of confidential government tax advice to be brought to Parliament.