Submission - Inquiry into Ethics and Professional Accountability: Structural Challenges in the Audit, Assurance and Consultancy Industry

Submission to the Ethics and Professional Accountability Inquiry: Structural Challenges in the Audit, Assurance and Consultancy Industry

Transparency International Australia (TIA) is pleased to provide a joint submission with Griffith University’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy and Human Rights Law Centre to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Ethics and Professional Accountability.

This is undertaken by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (the committee) in response to recent allegations of and responses to misconduct in the Australian operations of the major accounting, audit, and consultancy firms (including but not exclusive to the ‘Big Four’).

While we have a general interest in all terms of reference being addressed by the committee, our joint submission is especially directed to terms of reference 2(i) and 3(d) (whistleblower protections, policies and pathways).

This submission addresses the need for comprehensive reform of Commonwealth whistleblower protection legislation, if the issues raised by recent allegations of misconduct in the Australian operations of major accounting, audit, and consultancy firms are to be effectively addressed.

We thank the committee for its invitation to make a submission to this inquiry and we welcome the opportunity to contribute further and speak to these recommendations as required.