PracticeBig FourKPMG resigns from Grenfell Inquiry following conflict of interest concerns

KPMG resigns from Grenfell Inquiry following conflict of interest concerns

KPMG resigned as project management advisor to the Grenfell Inquiry following an open letter questioning potential conflicts of interest

KPMG resigns from Grenfell Inquiry following conflict of interest concerns

KPMG has resigned as project management advisor to the Grenfell Inquiry following public backlash surrounding potential conflicts of interest for the firm.

Last week an open letter to the government called for KPMG to step down on the basis that the firm audits Celotex, the parent company which produced the flammable cladding, and works as auditor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Rydon Group, the principal contractor in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

Signatories of the open letter included Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington and academics, activists and journalists.

A KPMG spokesperson said: “Whilst we are confident that no conflicts exist between our role advising the Inquiry and our work for other clients, we recognise that strength of opinion about our role risks undermining confidence in the Inquiry.”

“We share the view that nothing should distract from the important work it is undertaking to better understand the causes of the tragedy at Grenfell tower. We have therefore mutually agreed with the Inquiry that we will step down from our role with immediate effect.”

KPMG explained: “We were appointed to advise on structuring a project management office for the Grenfell Tower public inquiry.  Our role was purely operational and advised on project management best practice and had no role advising on the substance of the inquiry.”

Despite this view, the firm agreed to step down and waive any fees for work undertaken to date.

The open letter added that KPMG’s reputation has been compromised by a series of recent scandals including its audit of HBOS as well as its involvement in the Gupta family scandal in South Africa.

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