Monday, September 25, 2023

Treasury officials to be questioned about PwC scandal


Treasury officials will be questioned about their knowledge of the PwC tax advice leak after the consultancy saw a number of partners involved in the scandal resign.

Department Secretary Steven Kennedy will appear before the Senate Estimates on Tuesday, where he will be questioned.

PwC has learned that one of its former heads of tax shared sensitive Treasury information about tax changes with other partners and that the information was used to help win new clients.

Last week, Treasury referred the allegations to the Australian Federal Police to investigate the leak.

It comes as PwC announced on Monday that it was withdrawing nine partners, including members of its executive and governing boards.

Acting CEO Kristin Stubbins said members of the company who shared Treasury’s plans had betrayed “the trust placed in us”.

“We understand that we have betrayed the trust of our shareholders and we unconditionally apologise,” he said.

“We know that action is critical to restoring faith in our company and trust with our shareholders and I am committed to taking all steps necessary to make this happen.”

The Greens tried to release the names of PwC employees during a Senate estimates hearing last week, but the committee agreed to seek advice on whether disclosing the list could impede a criminal investigation.

Green Senator Barbara Pocock, who tried to table the list of names, said the steps taken by PwC were “too little, too late”.

“We know this is a company with nets in business and certainly in government, so we need to know a lot more about the wider group of people involved in this horrific chapter,” he told ABC.

“PwC continues to hide and is not really coming clean.

“We need transparency and honesty and proper housekeeping.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a list of staff allegedly involved in the tax advice scandal should be made public.

“Of course, all this should be made public at the right time,” he added.

“Frankly, what happened there is completely unacceptable.”

An independent report into the scandal will be published in September, to be led by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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