SARS report - KPMG press statement
25 January 2016
The KPMG SARS report has received considerable exposure in the media which should never have occurred as the work was being conducted under strict rules of confidentiality which were clearly articulated in our letter of engagement as well as in our findings.
Ordinarily we would not choose to respond in the media on a confidential assignment but we are concerned that certain aspects of our report have been leaked and that the media has published this.
Our report clearly refers to the limitations imposed on our assignment. Our mandate was to undertake a documentary review and did not include interviewing individuals named in the report, nor were they given sight of our findings by us. This is not unusual for assignments of this nature.
KPMG are regularly asked to independently investigate and report on a variety of matters for a number of clients.
Standard operating procedure in all such cases is to perform our enquiries in terms of our mandate and to furnish our client with a draft (usually multiple versions) of our findings to ensure factual accuracy and ensure that we have adequately addressed the issues on which they wished us to focus. Frequently when a client sees our report they request us to perform additional work or conduct further enquiries.
Any report, first draft or otherwise, remains exactly that, a draft, until the client confirms to us that all matters have been addressed and that the report has been through the entity's governance processes and is ready to be issued. A report may well be considered by KPMG to be complete or final but prior to being issued the client needs to notify us that it has been accepted by them. In most instances the Board, Audit Committee, other senior governance body or regulatory authority would sanction the release of such a report, particularly if it were regarded as being potentially sensitive.
In the matter of the SARS work undertaken we have submitted a number of drafts of our report and received feedback from SARS. We lodged our last report on 4 December 2015. In late December 2015 the Deputy Minister of Finance indicated that the report was still a draft and not yet ready for release. This matter is now subject to the client's internal processes and decision making.
Issued by Trevor Hoole, CEO of KPMG in South Africa, 25 January 2016