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Disgraced consultancy PwC’s “review” — announced in May amid the global tax leaks scandal — will not examine the tax leaks scandal.

The review’s “terms of reference” — which The Klaxon on June 23 revealed PwC was refusing to disclose — show it will not examine the tax leaks scandal, or any other past behaviour at PwC.

Rather, businessman and Crown Resorts casino chair Ziggy Switkowski, which PwC appointed to conduct what it calls an “independent review”, will only examine existing practices he observes.

PwC has been forced to disclose the “terms of reference” for the “review” – the instructions it set – to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into consultancies.

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The Klaxon’s June 23 expose. Source: The Klaxon


The two-page document, marked “confidential”, is titled “Terms of reference for the Independent Review on Governance, Accountability and Culture”.

It states: “the assessment of governance, accountability and culture is to be completed by reference to the point of time at which the expert [Switkowski] commences their fieldwork”.

“However, we recognise documentation and other artefacts relating to specific matters may be required to inform the findings”.

PwC provided the document in response to questions from NSW Greens MP Abigail Boyd, which it had taken “on notice”.

The document was first reported this afternoon by The Australian Financial Review.

The revelations are extremely damaging for PwC, which the separate, Federal, Senate inquiry into consultancies last month found was continuing to obfuscate, with its actions indicating a lack of “governance and accountability”.

They also add yet more weight to widespread calls for the Federal Government to call a Royal Commission into the scandal, and into the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars PwC and other “Big Four” consultancies are given each year.

Federal Senate inquiry’s explosive public hearings last week.. Source: The Klaxon


PwC announced the Switkowski “review” in a bid to dampen the extreme pressure it was facing over the affair.

The disgraced consultancy initially said it would only reveal a “summary” of the findings, due in September, but facing extreme criticism later said it would release the findings in full.

On June 23, six weeks after PwC announced the “independent review”, The Klaxon revealed PwC was refusing to reveal its “terms of reference”.


More from The Klaxon on the PwC tax scandal:


23 JulyTax Board run by PwC Partner

18 July Gov’t “Advisory Panel” of PwC tax partners axed

17 JulyFirst public official ousted in global PwC tax scandal

13 JulyGov’t tax boss at heart of PwC tax scammers nest

27 JunePwC tax scam CEO quits as charity chair

26 June Tax Ombudsman schooled by PwC emails partner

7 June“Vanished” Tax boss was exec at pre-PwC

24 MayYou don’t Sayers? PwC Mini-Me in $6m Gov’t bonanza


Over the preceding three weeks, PwC Australia and its then interim CEO Kristin Stubbins, had repeatedly rejected requests for the straightforward information.

“There’s only one reason why you’re not releasing your terms of reference,” governance expert Dr Andy Schmulow told The Klaxon at the time.

“And that’s because you know you’ve set up a sham inquiry”.

“That’s because you know you’ve set up a sham inquiry” – Dr Andy Schmulow

In an interim report called “PwC: A calculated breach of trust”, the Federal Senate inquiry found PwC’s ongoing actions indicated “poor corporate culture” and a lack of “governance and accountability”.

“When is PwC going to come clean and begin to do the right thing?” – Federal Senate inquiry last month

“Given the extent of the breach and subsequent cover-up now revealed on the public record, when is PwC going to come clean and begin to do the right thing?” said the report.

“PwC does not appear to understand proper process, nor do they see the need for transparency and accountability,” the report states.

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Anthony Klan

Editor, The Klaxon

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