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- NSW finance minister wants fines for consultancy firms that breach contracts
- No PwC staff with links to leak can work with government
- Several dead in rare stabbing, shooting attack in Japan
- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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NSW finance minister wants fines for consultancy firms that breach contracts
Meanwhile, the NSW Finance Minister Courtney Houssos says the state government is considering multi-million dollar fines to prevent consulting firms from leaking confidential information.
It comes after a Tax Practitioners Board investigation found PwC’s former Australian head of international tax, Peter Collins, had made unauthorised disclosures of confidential information about government plans to combat tax avoidance.
The Federal Department of Finance has tightened procurement rules in response to the PwC tax leaks scandal.Credit: Eamon Gallagher
Federal government departments have been told to take the past behaviour and conduct of all firms into consideration when deciding on contracts for any companies following a scathing assessment of PwC’s conduct.
Speaking on RN Breakfast, Houssos said the reports on the scandal had been “absolutely shocking”.
“We think that when you are provided with confidential tax information by the government that any breach of that trust should be taken seriously and there will very serious consequences for that,” Houssos said.
She said NSW wanted to make sure if it happens in the state that individuals and organisations are fined.
“We want to make sure that they are proportionate to the penalties that occur … we think there should be multi-million dollar fines, we’re working through exactly what the figures will be,” she said.
She said the plans would go to cabinet and implemented in legislation, if required.
“We’ve been really shocked by the reports of the behaviour at a federal level, and we think it’s important that we act at a state level,” she said.
No PwC staff with links to leak can work with government
In Australia, government departments have been told to take the past behaviour and conduct of all firms into consideration when deciding on contracts following a scathing assessment of PwC’s conduct by the head of the Finance Department.
But Finance Minister Katy Gallagher would not commit to banning PwC from doing future government work, after the major auditing firm was directed to remove all staff who knew about the tax leak at the firm from any government contracts while investigations were under way.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher and Secretary of the Department of Finance Jenny Wilkinson were repeatedly questioned about PwC during a Senate estimates hearing.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
The Australian Federal Police has also launched a “priority investigation” into PwC after the Treasury secretary referred it to federal authorities on Wednesday.
Read the full story on this issue here.
Several dead in rare stabbing, shooting attack in Japan
Three people were killed and one injured in a shooting and stabbing incident in a city in rural Japan on Thursday, with the perpetrator having barricaded himself inside a building, media reported.
Few details were immediately available about the incident, in which a man dressed in camouflage stabbed a woman with a knife and shot what appeared to be a hunting rifle in the city of Nakano in Nagano prefecture, central Japan, NHK national television reported.
Two police officers were believed to have been killed in the attack.Credit: NHK Japan
The three victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where a woman was later pronounced dead, police said. Two police officers also died, and a fourth person was injured, NHK added.
Keep reading the full story from Reuters and AP here.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning, and thanks for your company.
It’s Friday, May 26. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.
Here’s what you need to know before we get started:
- The Uluru Statement from the Heart marks the sixth anniversary of the dialogue that called for the Voice to parliament, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urges Australians to be on the right side of history.
- All public hospitals should offer surgical abortions or steer patients to affordable providers and the abortion pill should be easier to prescribe, says a Senate inquiry.
- Government departments have been told to take the past behaviour and conduct of all firms into consideration when deciding on contracts, following a scathing assessment of PwC’s conduct.
- Two MPs have made complaints to the Speaker of the House of Representatives about “vicious” attacks on first-term Greens MP Max Chandler-Mather.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during debate on Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023, in the House of Representatives.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
- The judgment in decorated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case will be delivered next week.
- In NSW, the police officer who Tasered great-grandmother Clare Nowland before her death is “very distressed” and will fight the charges.
- Victoria’s premier defended the state’s growing debt, arguing his government is investing in the infrastructure Melbourne needs.
- In overseas news, three people died, including two police officers, in a shooting and stabbing attack in Japan, where crimes involving guns are extremely rare.
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