Australian news, and some related international items

Christopher Pyne – Defence Minister in May – Defence Industry Lobbyist in July

The Fixer in a fix over EY move Edmund Tadros and Tom McIlroy  26 June 19 Former defence minister Christopher Pyne is under fire for taking a role at big four advisory firm EY that will see him consult to companies in the defence sector.

Despite the lion’s share of the defence sector stemming from federal procurement, EY said the former minister, who retired from politics at the election, would not be lobbying or meeting with MPs or the Defence Department.

The ministerial code of conduct requires cabinet members to wait for 18 months after leaving office before advocating or having business meetings with members of the government, Parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had official dealings.

Outgoing ministers cannot take personal advantage of information to which they have had access or which is not generally available to the public.

Mr Pyne’s two most recent ministerial roles were as minister for defence and minister for defence industry. He issued a short statement about the job on Wednesday after it was revealed by The Australian Financial Review: “I’m looking forward to providing strategic advice to EY, as the firm looks to expand its footprint in the defence industry.”

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Prime Minister, which administers the code of conduct, did not comment when asked if the role breached the code of conduct

“The rules for former ministers are clear and we refer you to the statements made by Mr Pyne and EY on his new position,” the spokeswoman said.

EY at first described Mr Pyne’s role in the context of “ramping up its defence capability”, but later clarified that Mr Pyne would only deal with the “private sector side of the business”.

“He will not be lobbying or meeting with public sector MPs, public service or defence force in his EY role. He is supporting the private sector side of the business,” the EY spokeswoman said.

Pyne to ‘lead conversations’

EY’s defence leader Mark Stewart said: “Christopher Pyne is also here to help lead conversations about what states need to do to meet the challenges and opportunities this huge defence investment will bring.”

He said EY was “ramping up its defence capability ahead of a surge in consolidation activity and the largest expansion of our military capability in our peacetime history … Large domestic defence players are actively looking for mergers to bulk up to deliver on the government’s $200 billion integrated investment program”.

June 27, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies

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