Under-fire accounting and consultancy giant PwC has ordered nine partners to take leave over the tax policy leak scandal and apologised for breaking the public trust.
The company announced that nine partners would go on leave “effective immediately”, but it refused to disclose the identities of the partners affected.
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The chairs of the governance board and its designated risk committee have also stepped down.
PwC Australia’s acting chief executive Kristin Stubbins announced the actions on Monday.
“Although investigations are still underway, we know enough about what went wrong to acknowledge that this situation was completely unacceptable,” Ms Stubbins wrote in an open letter.
Ms Stubbins apologised for the “completely unacceptable” and said there was “no amount of words can make it right.”
“There has been an assumption by some that all those whose names have been redacted must necessarily be involved in wrongdoing,” she wrote.
“Based on our ongoing investigation, we believe that the vast majority of the recipients of these emails are neither responsible for nor were knowingly involved in any confidentiality breach.”
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Ms Stubbins said the company will now “ringfence” its government advisory business to minimise conflict of interest.
The firm also committed to publishing an independent review by Ziggy Switkowski into the company’s governance, accountability and culture.
PwC has received prior criticism for committing to sharing only a summary of the report’s essential recommendations, expected to be released in September.
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