We the undersigned, call upon the Cabinet Office and Prime Minister Theresa May to reverse the decision to appoint KPMG as advisors to the Grenfell Tower inquiry, without competition.
The failure of KPMG to disclose a clear conflict of interest – that KPMG audit Celotex, the parent company which produced the flammable cladding, alongside its role as auditors of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Rydon Group, the principal contractor, raises serious questions about the professionalism of KPMG and its ability to define and serve the public interest.
KPMG’s reputation has already been seriously tarnished by the failed HBOS and Cooperative Bank audits in the UK, as well as its flawed auditing of overseas banks including Wachovia, New Century Financial, Wells Fargo, Countrywide and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (for which it has paid out millions of dollars in fines and settlements). KPMG failures are also closely associated with the developing Gupta political scandal in South Africa.
The Government’s Grenfell Tower inquiry is already facing criticism from Grenfell survivors and victims for a lack of inclusivity and diversity, failure to consider the deregulatory background via a series of reckless political decisions, made by Government’s of various colours in the decades leading up to the Grenfell disaster.
Government must recognise that appointing advisors so closely associated with firms under inquiry can only further fuel rumours of a deliberate cover-up and erode public trust.
Big 4 accounting firms actively lobbied the Conservative Party in the lead up to the 2010 General Election to close the Audit Commission, which audited and investigated public bodies like The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO).
The Audit Commission was shut by Government in April 2015, leaving an accountability vacuum in local government audit and fraud investigation, into which cases like Grenfell ultimately fall.
KPMG and other audit firms have directly profited from Government austerity, via the “bonfire of quangos” and related boom in consultancy and outsourcing work, while governance and scrutiny standards in public bodies have fallen.
We question why the Cabinet Office only chose to announce the appointment of KPMG to the controversial Grenfell advisory role in December, when the decision was made in August?
How does the Government’s covert, fast-track appointment of KPMG as Grenfell advisor chime with public statements about the need to repair trust with the Grenfell Tower Community?
It is entirely inappropriate to reward RBKC auditors KPMG with Grenfell Tower inquiry work and we urge Government to reverse the decision and to cancel the KPMG contract.
|Anderson||Samiah||New School Economics- Goldsmiths||Founder|
|Baker||Elly||National Education Union|
|Bartley||Jonathan||The Green Party||Co-Leader|
|Bellows||Anita||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Benjamin||Joel||Research for Action|
|Berry||Sian||Green Party member of the London Assembly|
|Binder||Miriam||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Burnip||Linda||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Chute||Richard||Earls Court Residents Association|
|Clifford||Ellen||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Clifton||Sarah-Jayne||Jubilee Debt Campaign - Director|
|Cobham||Alex||Tax Justice Network||Director|
|Cooper||Dr Vickie||Open University|
|Daniel||Rhonda||London School of Economics|
|Dearden||Nick||Global Justice Now||Director|
|Dent-Coad||Emma||MP for Kensignton|
|Edwards||Michael||Bartlett School - UCL||Professor|
|El-Gingihy||Youssef||Author of "How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 easy steps"||GP|
|Ellard||Bob||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Fraser||Ian||Financial journalist & author of Shredded: Inside RBS The Bank That Broke Britain|
|Gilbert||Paul||University of Sussex||Lecturer in International Development -|
|Gill||Dr Bob||GP and Producer ‘The Great NHS Heist’||Doctor|
|Graeber||David||London School of Economics||Professor|
|Greene||Andy||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Hamilton||John||Lewisham People Before Profit|
|Hodkinson||Dr Stuart||University of Leeds||Doctor, Associate Professor|
|Hodson||Ian||British Food and Allied Workers Union||National President|
|Jeffrey||Nicola||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Jenkins||Ian||Merthyr Rising Festival||Organiser|
|Jones||Dr Paul||University of Liverpool|
|Keats||Andy||Serious Banking Complaints Bureau||Director|
|Keen||Steve||Economist and Author|
|Kelly||John||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Kennedy||Seraphima||Goldsmiths University of London|
|Laws||Vince||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Madden||David||London School of Economics|
|Mahmoud||Sarah||New Economics Foundation||Senior Economist|
|McGowan||Mark||The Artist Taxi Driver|
|McKenna||Denise||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|McKenzie||Lisa||London School of Economics||Professor|
|McNeil||Jo||University of Liverpool UCU||President|
|Miller||David||University of Bath||Professor|
|Minton||Anna||University of East London||Reader in Architecture & Author ‘Big Capital: Who is London For?’|
|Mitchell||Neil||Businessman & Anti-Corruption Campaigner|
|Murphy||Richard||City University of London||FCA Professor of Practice in International Political Economy|
|O’Neil||Dr Martin||Cardiff University||Dr|
|Oswald||Michael||Documentary Filmmaker: The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire|
|Palmer||Hilda||Hazards Campaign/ Families Against Corporate Killers|
|Paton||Dr Kirsteen||University of Liverpool|
|Peters||Paula||Disabled People Against Cuts|
|Pinto-Duschinsky||Nendie||‘On the Ground at Grenfell’||Director|
|Rogers||Ludovica||Debt Resistance UK|
|Ryan-Collins||Josh||UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose||-|
|Shah||Atul||University of Suffolk||Professor of Accounting and Finance|
|Shaheen||Faiza||CLASS Think Tank||Director|
|Sikka||Prem||University of Essex||Emeritus Professor of Accounting|
|Snell||Will||Tax Justice UK|
|Sng||Paul||Director ‘Dispossession: The Great Housing Swindle’|
|Stepanovic||Lisa||Social Ark CIC|
|Tarry||Sam||President of CLASS Think Tank and Cllr LB Barking and Dagenham||-|
|The People vs PFI||-||-||-|
|Tombs||Steve||The Open University||Professor of Criminology|
|Waugh||Megan||University of Leeds||-|
|Whyte||David||University of Liverpool||Professor|
|Wilson||Nicholas||Independent anti-corruption campaigner.||-|
|Womack||Amelia||The Green Party||Deputy Leader|
|Wray||Ben||Commonweal||Head of Policy -|
|Zlotowitz||Sally||Housing and Mental Health Network||Clinical and Community Psychologist|