PwC's culture is 'window dressing' and 'rainmakers' not being addressed, says report

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PwC's culture is 'window dressing' and 'rainmakers' not being addressed, says report

Any person entrusted with the responsibility to conduct work for or on behalf of the Australian population should be treated with the utmost of integrity and honesty.

It appears as though that hasn't happened, he said.

The accounting and consulting firm has been facing the heat for months now, as it was revealed the accounting and consulting firm misused government information to help big multinationals avoid paying more tax.

DEBORAH Ogrowth at all costs mindset', a lack of independent voices on its leadership boards and the CEO role had become too powerful and unaccountable.

It's pretty plain, '' GEoffrey Watson said. An outsider could have said that PwC was only interested in profits.

That is window dressing, the real problem here is the way in which these consultants have taken over the bureaucracy - that's not being addressed by them at all.

NADIA DALY: Senator Deborah ONEILL: The cultural problems that are now known to the public and are backed in in the section on culture recorded by Mr Switkowski have not gone away.

Today's report to PwC by Ziggy Switkowski identified a culture where'revenue is king' and partners who overbudget financial targets are celebrated as 'heroes' and 'rainmakers', and to whom the rules don't always apply.

Dr Switkowski made 23 recommendations, which PwC agreed to implement. The changes include changing its governance to meet ASX standards, appointing three nonexecutive board members, and giving the board the power to fire the CEO and publish audited financial statements.

Senate Ot went far enough, nor were its terms broad enough.

The names of the two were deborAH O and Donald Debora. Now for the entire period that we know that this matter was on foot, there were two CEOs, one of them was Mr Luke Sayers and the other was Mr Tom Seymour. In Switkowski's review, neither of them get a mention.

The report comes as a senate inquiry examining the tax leak scandal heard from the ATO's Jeremy Hirschorn, who said PwC's former CEO Luke Sayers was warned about the ATO's concerns in 2019.

In my discussions with Mr Sayers, I communicated that we had come across various regarding emails across a range of issues, and I suggested that he look, that basically he look through those emails.

I thought that the matters that I raised were of substantial, sufficient concern that there would be, the firm would respond.

Luke Sayers said he didn't recall that conversation, nor was he aware Peter Collins breached confidentiality agreements.

In 2013 a PwC partner Peter Collins provided advice to the Treasury about new laws to prevent multinational corporations from exploiting tax loopholes. He signed a confidentiality agreement.

It was later revealed that Collins breached that agreement by sharing information with PwC staff and clients to help them allegedly sidestep new tax laws.

Peter Collins left PwC in October of 2022 and was soon deregistered for integrity breaches.

The federal senate began its investigation of the scandal in March.

In May, internal PwC emails were released showing that several of Peter Collins' colleagues were aware he was leaking the government documents.

A police investigation was also launched, and PwC commissioned an independent internal investigation by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski.

In the coming months, the firm plans to replace its CEO, stand down nine of its partners, and sell off the government consulting arm of its business for one dollar.

PwC's CEO, James Cameron, wasn't available for an interview at 7.30, instead releasing a pre-recorded video message.

The independent review highlights a failure of both individuals and a firm in leadership.

The failures identified were unacceptable, and the failures identified should never have been allowed to take place.

DEBORAH Os certainly not enough and it certainly doesn't put an end to the matter.

SADIA DALY: Geoffrey Watson said bigger questions remain over the government's reliance on consultants.

We have to wean ourselves off this dependence that they have on consultants, external consultancies, as soon as possible, GEOFFREY WATSON said.

They need to restore faith that decision-making is being taken by people who've got their first and only duty to serve the public, rather than private profit.