Deloitte Australia admits misuse of information as PwC scandal widens
International Tax Review is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Deloitte Australia admits misuse of information as PwC scandal widens

Gdansk, Poland - May 8, 2022: Logo and sign of Deloitte, multina

Another ‘big four’ firm has been dragged into claims of impropriety as a Senate inquiry into consulting services continues.

Deloitte Australia has told the Senate it misused information from the Australian government last year, but the firm refused to provide more details owing to concerns over client confidentiality.

The firm maintained, however, that the confidential information was not misused for commercial gain.

“Any matters in relation to the misuse of confidential government information would be investigated in line with our normal processes,” said Deloitte in the Friday, July 14, Senate hearing on consulting services.

“Consequences would vary depending on the findings of our internal investigations and, as with any misconduct, these consequences include disciplinary actions in accordance with our policies, which apply to both partners and employees,” the firm told the Senate committee.

The Senate investigation into consulting services comes amid the ongoing PwC Australia tax leaks scandal, in which former partner Peter-John Collins was found to have shared confidential government information with colleagues and clients.

Deloitte Australia also confirmed there was misuse of confidential or proprietary information on nine occasions in FY2021/22, but that this was down from 18 times the previous financial year.

At the hearing, Deloitte Australia also provided the Senate with details about two cases of conflicts of interests involving government contracts. This included work with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and the Home Affairs Department.

“It was identified in August 2022 that Deloitte had not sought pre-approval from the ANAO to provide the service, as required under their independence and conflicts management policies,” the firm told the Senate.

Deloitte acknowledged that the Home Affairs Department terminated a contract with the firm over an undisclosed conflict of interest. However, the firm told the Senate it was not aware of any other “significant conflict-of-interest matters relating to government work”.

The Senate inquiry will hear from consultancy Accenture and big four firm EY Australia next as the two-day hearing continues until tomorrow, July 18. Meanwhile, management consultancy firm McKinsey has declined to appear before the committee.

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

As German clients attempt to comply with complex cross-border rules, local advisers argue that aggressive tax authorities are making life even harder
Based on surveys covering more than 25,000 in-house lawyers, the series provides insights into what law firms must score highly on when pitching to in-house counsel
The UK tax authority reportedly lost a case due to missing a deadline; in other news, Canada has approved pillar two legislation
There will always be multinationals trying to minimise tax by pushing the boundaries of their cross-border arrangements, Rob Heferen claimed
HMRC’s attempts to crack down on fraudulent tax relief claims are well-meaning, but the agency risks penalising genuinely innovative businesses, writes Katy Long of ForrestBrown
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are among the countries the OECD believes could benefit from the simplified TP rules
It comes despite an offshore enabler penalty existing in the UK throughout the entire period
It is extraordinary that tax advisers in the UK can offer their services without having to join a professional body. This looks like it is coming to an end, Ralph Cunningham writes
Meet the esteemed judges who are assessing the first-ever Social Impact Awards
The ‘big four’ firm has also vowed to spend more on nurturing junior talent; in other news, Blick Rothenberg has hired a pair of tax partners
Gift this article