Recent revelations surrounding the misuse of confidential public data by major accounting firms have intensified the call for a royal commission. This commission aims to unravel the depth of scandals across the industry and discern strategies for the federal government to reduce dependence on external contractors. Deloitte, for instance, has faced criticism for breaching confidentiality, while its chair, Tom Imbesi, resisted divulging details about pivotal partnership agreements. Geoff Watson, a director at the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, highlighted the obstructionist tactics employed by firms such as PwC in the face of public investigations. Data from the Centre reveals that the big four consultancy firms earn approximately $1.4 billion annually from public contracts, marking a 400% increment over the past ten years. This surge parallels a significant escalation in political donations. The overarching sentiment is a perceived failure of self-regulation within these firms, necessitating stronger, unbiased oversight mechanisms to restore public trust and safeguard the integrity of Australia’s financial reporting landscape.

This is a summary of “PwC royal commission” published in The New Daily on July 17, 2023, and written by Matthew Elmas. Read it in full here.