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PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young Donated Nearly £1.9 Million to UK Political Parties
July 13, 2012
By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger
UK Newspaper The Guardian has reported that Big4 firms donated a total of £1.9 million (around $3 million) to political parties since 2009.
The donations were listed as “staff costs” worth £1.36 million and pro-bono consultancy work worth £500,000 to political parties since May 2009, in addition to offering staff to work for political parties at no cost. The employees have worked with Members of the British Parliament and political party offices, as well as in government departments.
A spokesperson for the Labour party told The Guardian that they find incredible value in enlisting the assistance of the Big4 firms. “Given the complexity of government decisions in areas such as tax policy – and that opposition parties do not have significant access to civil servants – the support provided by organisations such as PwC helps ensure that there is better scrutiny of government policy,” the unnamed spokesperson said.
The firms have also offered services to the other political parties in Britain, including the Conservative party, who currently rule as part of a coalition. However, the opposing party has put these links into question in the past, as when Labour MP John Robertson questioned the contract that a spin-off firm of Deloitte–Ingeus Deloitte–won a £774 million contract to work with the government’s Work Programme.
The Department for Work and Pensions responded to the complaint by saying that all parties adhered to a strict code of conduct. “Contracting followed a strict code of practice and was open and fair. Ministers did not intervene or attempt to dictate the outcomes,” the Department said.
All Big4 firms have said that they openly develop relationships with all political parties. For example, PwC said in its annual report that, “In the interests of the firm and its clients, we seek to develop and maintain constructive and balanced relationships with the main political parties.”