- The Guardian
- Issue #2066
Photo: maisa_nyc – flickr.com (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
The public sector and parliamentary corridors are infested with personnel from private enterprise, and not just the Big Four accounting/consultancy firms. They weave in and out of the government, the public sector and private sector, raising the perception of multiple conflicts of interest and undermining the independence and democratic processes of government. The following are a few of the many examples:
POLITICIAN → BIG FOUR:
Christopher Pyne, former Liberal Defence (and Defence Industry Minister) joined Ernst and Young (EY) to give strategic advice. Became chairman of advisory board of small arms and munitions company Nioa, chair of advisory board of the Australian Missile Corporation, and board member of Xtek Ltd a body armour and unmanned vehicle manufacturer.
Craig Emerson, former Labor Minister for Trade and Competitiveness joined KPMG.
Natasha Stott Despoja, former Australian Democrats senator later became a principal at Deloitte.
BIG FOUR → POLITICIAN:
Steven Ciobo, worked for PwC and later became Liberal Minister for International Trade and Development.
Matt Canavan, worked for KPMG and later became National Party Minister for Resources.
Public Sector → Big Four:
Kevin Rudd, Department of Foreign Affairs (including Australian diplomat in China), then senior China consultant for KPMG before entering Parliament as a Labor MP and then Prime Minister.
Tim Reardon, national transport and precincts leader at PwC had been secretary to NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and Secretary of Transport for NSW.
BIG FOUR → PUBLIC SECTOR:
Jeremy Hirschhorn, second commissioner for client engagement at the ATO had worked for KPMG.
Rosheen Garnon, chair of Tax Practitioners Board had been National Managing Partner for KPMG Australia’s Taxation Division.
Chris Jordan, commissioner of taxation, had worked for KPMG.
Alana Matheson, Fair Work Commissioner, former Liberal deputy mayor of Campbelltown had worked for KPMG.
SENIOR PUBLIC SERVANTS → BIG FOUR:
Tim Reardon, national transport and precincts leader at PwC Australia, was Secretary of Transport for New South Wales and former Secretary of NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Pradeep Philip, Lead Partner for Deloitte Access Economics has been policy director for PM Kevin Rudd, associate director general at the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet, and secretary of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service.
Jamie Norton, partner in EY’s forensic technology and cyber security team, was previously assistant commissioner and chief information security officer at the Australian Tax Office. Prior to this, he was head of cyber security at NEC.
THE FULL 360 DEGREES:
Blair Comley, secretary of federal Department of Health and Aged Care, had worked for EY and before that secretary of NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
For more examples of revolving doors see “How power bleeds between politics and the big four,” on The Mandarin
or Crikey websites. For other examples that raise conflict of interest perceptions visit michaelwest.com.au. Acknowledgements to Crikey
and The Mandarin
for information used in this article.