KPMG probed over BAE audit

Marion Dakers
AUDITORS at KPMG are to be investigated over their work for the arms-maker BAE Systems, an industry watchdog said yesterday.

The Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) will probe KPMG in relation to BAE’s payments through offshore companies between 1997 and 2007.

The investigation follows on from BAE’s long-running corruption case linked to Saudi Arabian and Tasmanian arms deals, which the firm settled in February after admitting in a US court to conspiring to make false statements and paying £285m in fines.

The AADB named the three front companies – Red Diamond, Poseidon and Novelmight – used by BAE to make payments to foreign officials. The watchdog said it will investigate the “status, operation or disclosability” of the firms in KPMG’s work.

A KPMG spokesman said of the investigation: “The firm does not believe there has been any act of misconduct. It will of course be co-operating fully with AADB to ensure the matter is brought to a swift conclusion.”

If the AADB find evidence of misconduct it could hold a public tribunal, which would have the power to dole out unlimited fines and revoke licences to practice.