The inquiry comes a day after the firm announced plans to sell its government consulting business.
SYDNEY: Australian lawmakers will ask for more details about PwC staff involved in the leak of government tax plans when acting head Kristin Stubbins appears before a state parliament on Monday, her first public appearance since her predecessor stepped down over the scandal.
Stubbins, who could not be immediately reached for comment, faces a New South Wales (NSW) state parliamentary inquiry a day after the firm announced plans to sell its government consulting business and a further leadership shakeup as it responds to a scandal that has frozen work with some of Australia’s major public and private sector clients.
But there were still many unanswered questions, inquiry chair and Greens party lawmaker Abigail Boyd said on Sunday.
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She said she would ask Stubbins how widely confidential data was shared and whether PwC’s assurance those implicated were off government work can be trusted when the firm has not publicly named any staff or clients.
“(The sale) seems like a really good way to avoid scrutiny,” she told Reuters on Sunday. “Look we’ve taken action, we’ve sold off the business, we’ve got a new person in, everything is fine. Rather than ever actually telling us the extent of the problem.”
The inquiry will also use the decision to spin off PwC’s government consulting business to question whether the model should also apply to other “big four” accounting firms as a way to manage conflicts of interest, Boyd added.
Stubbins took over from former chief executive David Seymour in May after he admitted he was one of at least 67 staff who received emails containing confidential government plans to curb multinational tax avoidance leaked by a former partner at the firm between 2014 and 2017.
She will remain in the role until Kevin Burrowes, currently Global Clients & Industries lead based in Singapore, relocates to Australia for the job.