By Alasdair Pal
SYDNEY (Reuters) – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said the former CEO of its Australia business, who stepped down just last week, will retire from the firm, while the auditor also announced an independent review into a leak of confidential government tax information.
Tom Seymour will retire as a partner at the firm on Sept. 30, PwC Australia said in a statement on Monday.
Seymour could not be reached for comment via a call to PwC. Reuters could not determine direct contact details for him and he did not reply to a request for comment on LinkedIn.
According to recent local media reports, another former PwC partner had been banned by Australia’s tax practitioners board for sharing government tax plans with other staff at the firm. PwC has confirmed the “unauthorised sharing of confidential tax policy information”, but has not named the individuals involved.
The Australian Financial Review then reported that Seymour had issued a statement saying he was one of the partners who had received the sensitive material. A PwC spokesperson told Reuters at the time that the information was accurate.
The revelations drew a strong rebuke from the federal government, a major client of PwC, with some lawmakers calling for PwC to be banned from getting more government contracts.
PwC said former Telstra and Optus CEO Ziggy Switkowski will lead an independent review into the information leak and will report his findings and recommendations in September.
“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,” acting CEO Kristin Stubbins said.
“Switkowski will have access to all the people and information he needs to conduct a rigorous and robust review. We look forward to receiving his report and acting swiftly on its recommendations.”
That includes if the report recommends “exiting” further people and partners from the firm, PwC added.
(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in Sydney; Editing by Himani Sarkar)