PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen sacks Enron lead audit partner

Andersen sacks Enron lead audit partner

Andersen has fired the lead audit partner in charge of Enron on discovering that he rushed to destroy Enron-related papers after receiving a subpoena from US regulators.

Three other partners have been put on leave and new management put in place at the Houston office, which was responsible for the Enron audit. Four partners based in Houston have been demoted from their management positions.

The swift removal of David Duncan, lead partner responsible for Enron, is a clear indication of the managing partner and chief executive, Joseph Berardino’s, determination to scrap back some credibility for Andersen.

The Big Five firm said it will dismiss anyone who improperly destroyed audit papers or Enron-related emails after the US Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed the firm on 8 November 2001.

Berardino said: ‘We promised to be forthright and to take action where appropriate. This was a painful decision, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. We are prepared to take all appropriate steps necessary to maintain confidence in the integrity of our firm.’

Andersen said yesterday it had learned that Duncan had ordered ‘an expedited effort’ to destroy Enron-related documents following an urgent meeting on 23 October 2001 when he found out the SEC had requested information.

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