At the request of the Australian government, police are now probing the leak of classified tax information by a former PwC partner.
Today, May 24, the Australian Federal Police opened an inquiry into former PwC employee Peter-John Collins and his involvement in the Treasury tax leaks affair.
According to an AFP spokeswoman, the police have "received a report of crime relating to the alleged misuse of confidential government information."
"An investigation has begun," the representative stated, "and no further comment will be made at this time."
After Collins, the firm's former head of international tax, attended high-level meetings as part of his involvement in an advisory group to the Australian Treasury, PwC Australia acquired confidential government tax plans.
Collins has received a two-year ban from the Tax Practitioners Board as a penalty. Collins will leave PwC Australia in October of 2022.
In an official announcement earlier today, Steven Kennedy, Secretary of the Treasury, stated that Collins had "improperly used confidential Commonwealth information."
“The emails that the Tax Practitioners Board tabled in Parliament on May 2 2023 highlighted the significant extent of the unauthorised disclosure of confidential Commonwealth information and the wide range of individuals within PwC who were directly and indirectly privy to the confidential information,” Kennedy said.
“In light of these recent revelations and the seriousness of this misconduct, the Treasury has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police to consider commencement of a criminal investigation,” he added.
PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour resigned on May 9 due to the incident. An independent investigation has been initiated, and Seymour is expected to retire in September, when the probe's findings will be made public.
Last week, acting CEO Kristin Stubbins stated, "We are committed to learning from our mistakes and ensuring that we embrace the high standards of governance, culture, and accountability that our people, clients, and external stakeholders rightly expect."
Former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski is conducting an independent examination of the leak and the corporation, while the 'big four' firm has flown in worldwide executives to oversee the issue.
A PwC Australia spokesperson said the firm “will continue to co-operate fully with any investigations into this matter”.
By fLEXI tEAM