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Clearly disturbing': Treasury referred PwC to police after emails exposed by Senate


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The head of federal Treasury, Steven Kennedy, has labelled conduct by PwC as "clearly disturbing", as he revealed the public release of a trove of emails from the consulting firm was the catalyst for him to call on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to investigate a significant tax leak.

PwC is under fire for using confidential Treasury information on tax laws to benefit its client base, with the AFP launching a criminal probe into one of its former partners last week.

Labor Senator Deb O'Neill used a Senate estimates committee to quote from a cache of emails between PwC staff about the development of new products for its clients, using the confidential Treasury information.

Senator O'Neill described some quotes from Mr Collins as "famous last words", as he made comments to colleagues that actions and decisions were "ok in practice, until the ATO gets grumpy and figures out the joke".

"I think by any community standard, one could say they're clearly disturbing, and they're relevant to our considerations," Dr Kennedy responded.

"The Senate has done a very good job in exposing these issues.

"And the release of the information on the 2nd of May, from memory, was a crucial piece of information that allowed us to take a step."

The AFP is investigating PwC — while the firm's staff work in its buildings
The AFP is investigating a criminal case about secret government data and a conflict-of-interest.  

Printed black and white copies of emails laid out on a table with chunks of text redacted in black.

PwC likened to 'vultures'
While the Treasury secretary was being grilled by one committee, the Defence secretary was being questioned about his department's exposure to PwC.

Secretary Greg Moriarty said PwC had twice offered written assurances none of its staff working on contracts with Defence were linked to the scandal, revealing the department currently had 54 contracts with the firm worth more than $223 million.

"We are working through a range of measures to assure ourselves that the nature of our relationship with PwC and the integrity of the work that we have done with them, that work will take time," Mr Moriarty told the Senate.

Some senators took the opportunity to provide their own assessment of the firm's behaviour.

"PwC have been circling like vultures to get these contracts, haven't they? That's what's been happening – you can literally see them circling to suck money off Defence, can't you?" Senator Shoebridge said to Defence's Associate Secretary Matt Yannopoulos.





$223 million in contracts.


However, after all that gain I expect PwC will end up losing money in the end.

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@psyche101 What is this about? It's not something that has surfaced in UK news. PwC is employed by the Oz Govt?

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50 minutes ago, pellinore said:

@psyche101 What is this about? It's not something that has surfaced in UK news. PwC is employed by the Oz Govt?

PricewaterhouseCoopers. The PwC assurance advisory and tax service leaked confidential government information to overseas clients that afforded them the inside information to make a great deal of money based on decisions. This has also exposed the disproportionate amount of government defence work awarded to PwC. There's clearly corruption going on at high levels in the millions. Now client's AB InBev, the owner of Carlton & United breweries; miner Glencore; and JBS, the Brazilian meat processing company are all to face courts. 

The emails about the ATO also did them no favours. 144 disparaging emails like so embarrassed and angered the ATO in general.


“OK in practice until the ATO gets grumpy and figures out the joke.”


“Little real chance of any anti-hybrid rule anytime soon. I spent three painful hours today. BOT [Board of Taxation] has zero idea. The only thing they get now is that it is complicated, and perhaps we should not rush, no need to share this because all supposed to be secret.”


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If you expect anything beyond “don’t be naughty” to result, you’re naive. 
AND I fully expect a firm called “Cooper, Waterhouse and Price” will be given copious governmental contracts within a few years. 

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