Say No To Hudud

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PwC Code of Conduct and the ongoing PwC fraud in Malaysia

Doing the right thing—the PwC way

For over 150 years, the people of PwC have striven to display the highest values and standards in serving our clients and in all of our business dealings.-from the PwC global homepage
The Star carried a write up on "Doing things the PwC way" in March of 2008.
Some choice quotes from the article,
"PwC realised we needed to have our values and good behaviour of doing business codified and standardised so that every PwC firm can adhere to them.”
“There is a series of steps and questions that our people can ask themselves before making a difficult decision." Dato' Johan Raslan
"No code can address every situation that an individual may encounter. The ethical framework helps our people to exercise good judgment and proper business conduct,” said PwC Malaysia managing director Chin Kwai Fatt.
As leaders of the firm we must walk the talk and lead by example."

Mr Chin Kwai Fatt and Datuk Johan Raslan, Code of Conduct or Profit before Values?

From the PwC Code of Conduct:
We compete vigorously, engaging only in practices that are legal and ethical.

Q1: Is the registration of PwC by the AOB on the 1st of April, a physical and legal impossibility, part of competing vigorously; is PwC so vigorously competitive that registration was done even before the legislation to collect fees was in place, on the very same day that the Audit Oversight Board members were themselves appointed?
We aim to avoid confl icts of interest.

Q2: Is avoiding conflicts of interest why we saw a Director leave PwC Malaysia to take up the position of Director of the Audit Oversight Board, taking a substantial paycut along the way? Really?

We treasure our independence of mind. We protect our clients’ and other stakeholders’ trust
by adhering to our regulatory and professional standards, which are designed to enable us to achieve the objectivity necessary in our work.
Q3: Is that why on top of having a PwC man running the only Oversight Board with the teeth and claws to "regulate" your firm, Johan Raslan also sits on the Corporate Governance Board of the Securities Commission. That is more like taking ownership of the regulatory standards, not just adhering to them, and of course there can be no conflict of interest at all, right?
When faced with difficult issues or issues that place PwC at risk, we consult appropriate PwC
individuals before taking action. We follow our applicable technical and administrative consultation requirements.
Q4: Is that how the 4 senior partners under the leadership of Mr Chin Kwai Fatt came to the decision to continue using a tainted auditor to audit the books of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Sdn Bhd (464379-U)? You consulted each other as being the appropriate PwC individuals in this case?
Summary of ethics questions to consider
1. Is it against PwC or professional standards?
2. Does it feel right?
3. Is it legal?
4. Will it reflect negatively on you or PwC?
5. Who else could be affected by this (others in
PwC, clients, you, etc.)?
6. Would you be embarrassed if others knew you
took this course of action?
7. Is there an alternative action that does not pose
an ethical conflict?
8. How would it look in the newspapers?
9. What would a reasonable person think?
10. Can you sleep at night?
We would like to add one more question to the list. As leaders in the largest auditing firm in the country, auditing more than a hundred public listed companies, how is it that you can ask yourself these questions and keep on doing what you do?
Unless of course you place profits above anything else, and expect the rest to do the same, in which case, you are true leaders who really do walk the talk and lead by example.

(Dear Readers,amongst many many others, Mr Paul Boorman and Dr Coenraad Van Beek, the Global Leaders for Operations and Ethics/Business Conduct respectively, receive these postings, regular as clockwork)


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