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PwC Australia Claims Employees Implicated in a Tax Leak Will Suffer "Severe" Consequences

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Acting CEO Kristin Stubbins informed a state senate investigation on Monday that PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia personnel who are found to have engaged in unethical behavior in the incident involving the disclosure of government tax plans will suffer "severe" consequences.

Stubbins said the investigation by two legal firms would end shortly and the company would name any staff observed to have done anything wrong in the first time she appeared in public since her predecessor quit due to his participation in the issue.

Stubbins stated that they have fallen short of the standards they established for themselves as an organization, and she sincerely apologize on behalf of the company.

PwC Australia is facing criticism after a previous partner who advised the federal government on legislation to stop corporate tax dodging shared private material with associates who subsequently used it to send to to multinational firms for business.

Nine partners who have afterwards left the company have been placed and four previous partners who participated directly in the breach have been identified. Two of the four have made denial of any misconduct in public .

A day after the company revealed intentions to sell its public sector consulting division for A$1 ($0.67) as well as a further leadership shakeup when it responds to a crisis that has forced government agencies and significant pension funds to halt cooperation with PwC, Stubbins was subject to a New South Wales state parliamentary investigation.

Stubbins criticized PwC's first May move to ringfence its public sector consulting practice and create a separate board as having not gone far enough. She stressed that the $1 transaction would not result in any financial gain for PwC Australia.

Around 1,500 employees and more than 100 partners will transfer to the new organization, which will be established with assistance from the private equity company Allegro Funds and launched around September.

The "vast majority" of governmental consultancy work will no longer be available to PwC Australia as a result of the change, but certain outside auditing services for government customers might continue, according to Stubbins.

Stubbins replaced former CEO David Seymour in May after Seymour acknowledged being one of no fewer than 67 employees who got emails outlining secret government measures to stop multinational tax avoidance that were disclosed by a previous partner at the company between 2014 and 2017.

She will continue to hold the position until Kevin Burrowes, the Global Clients & Industries lead now based in Singapore, shifts to Australia for the position.

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