Amid an ongoing tax leaks scandal, PwC Australia is set to discontinue the majority of its political contributions, removing annual donations that average over $200,000, thereby pressuring other prominent firms like Deloitte, EY, and KPMG to consider similar actions. Anthony Whealy, the chairman of the Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, and former NSW Supreme Court judge, welcomed PwC’s decision. He emphasized that this move should serve as a precedent for others, reflecting the essential need for transparency, integrity, and accountability within Australia’s federal donation system. In response to the crisis, PwC announced the appointment of Karen Evans-Cullen from Gilbert + Tobin as its acting head of the office of general counsel. While committing to no political donations in FY24, PwC has yet to clarify its stance regarding sponsorship of main business membership groups. The Centre for Public Integrity has linked past donations by firms to the growth in Commonwealth work, but firms justify these contributions as avenues to policy sessions and networking events.
This is a summary of “PwC to ban political donations over tax leaks scandal” published in Australian Financial Review on July 10, 2023, written by Edmund Tadros. Read it in full here.