03 | 07

Theft and racism, the festering sores in Canberra

Categories: Accountability, ACT Government, Australian Federal Police, Australian Labor Party, Corruption, Discrimination/Racism, Ernst & Young, Former Commissioner, Government, Justice, Law Enforcement, Racism, Rule of Law

by: Bakchos
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For some years now I have been considering the concept of complicity. What constitutes complicity, how far does it extend, where does responsibility for wrongdoing cease? You can all blame me for putting the idea in Bakchos’ mind; his knowledge of philosophy and my practical view of the world result in many discussions ranging somewhere between law, moral conduct and personal accountability.

My mind is geared to science. An analytical and reasoned thought process lies at the heart of much of what I do. I struggle to comprehend gross violations of human rights let alone failure to take responsibility for the harms a person causes to another. I reason much of what we do to each other simply as greed, underpinned by an over enthusiastic sense of self-preservation. When we have more than someone else, it’s easier to feel safe from the vagaries that disrupt the stability of others. Quality of life is as important, possibly more so than life itself.

Nothing much has really changed in the past several thousand years when it comes to self-preservation. Having more food, an opulent house, beautiful clothes are things we desire, but more important is the regard with which others view us. When we leave this life, the only thing that we can ever claim, painted rightly or wrongly, is our reputation. Regardless of the wealth we accumulate, history will mold for us the memory that we deserve rather than one we may seek to buy.

Complicity and its severity must be judged according the degree of harm and the ability of a secondary party to influence the behaviour of a potential offender. Thomas Aquinas divided complicity into nine categories:

  1. Commanded – directing a person to perform a harmful act against another;
  2. Participatory – Being asked to and actively engaging in the wrongful act;
  3. Counseled – knowing the intentions of and enabling the perpetrator by providing information about how to carry out a harmful act;
  4. Consensual – providing tacit support to the perpetrator by a request to overlook irregularities by the perpetrator;
  5. Flattery – praising the perpetrator of a potential or actual harmful act;
  6. Through receipt – not receiving proceeds of a crime, but rather receiving the perpetrator and diverting or covering up the wrongdoing;
  7. Silent – failing to acknowledge the harmful act;
  8. Failure to prevent harm – when it is possible to prevent harm, essentially enabling the perpetrator to commit the harmful act;
  9. Failure to denounce the harmful act – differs from silent complicity, in that something is said, but the harmful behaviour of the perpetrator is not actively denounced.

The first two types of complicity are rated as the most severe. Responsibility for the final outcome lies equally with both the perpetrator of the crime and the complicit party. Ernst & Young fall squarely into the category of participation when reviewing their role in the evils that befell “Pat”, the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue.

In 2002, Ernst & Young failed in their duty of care to protect Pat from the racist attacks of a subordinate (the “Inquisitor”) seeking to undermine his then boss. Disaffected at failing to achieve promotion to the role of Commissioner for ACT Revenue himself, the Inquisitor set upon a campaign to oust Pat from the role he had successfully and legitimately applied for and won. Part of the racist attack involved manipulating files and documents about Pat by altering details. Before this could be done however, the Inquisitor needed to first access files held by the human resources department within the ACT public service and Pat’s other former employers, so he wrote to both the ANZ Bank and Ernst & Young. The Bank, showing some mental alertness and a high level of corporate responsibility, investigated before providing the Inquisitor with access to any documents. Upon discovering that the inquirer was not authorized to request Pat’s personnel file, they refused access. Two other entities failed – Ernst & Young and the ACT’s own human resources department.

Ernst & Young, despite express advice to the contrary from Pat under instruction from his lawyers Bradley Allen, provided the Inquisitor with access to Pat’s personnel file. This was facilitated by Tania Taylor and approved by Gillian Moffatt, the Manager of Human Resources at Ernst & Young. The complicity is worsened by the Inquisitor’s assertion that Ernst & Young were aware that he was acting on a personal enquiry without proper authority, a comment made to the then Executive Director ACT Treasury, Mr Glen Gaskell. You would think those two facts would be enough, but if allegations that Tania Taylor also manipulated documents within Pat’s file are correct, the severity of the complicity and culpability of Ernst & Young is of the most heinous kind.

The other party that enabled the Inquisitor to racially undermine the former Commissioner was Louise Fitzgerald, the then Manager of Corporate Services. With the appointment of Pat to the Commissioner’s role, Louise Fitzgerald would have had full appreciation of the other applicants and should have protected the files from potentially malicious hands. Instead, she provided the Inquisitor with access to Pat’s file, setting the final piece of groundwork for the PID submitted alleging Pat’s falsification of qualifications.

The question of why ACT Treasury would allow all this to happen comes back to the missing $130 million, identified by Pat as having been transferred to the Marrickville branch of the Australian Labor Party. Rather than deal with the corruption and subsequent leadership ramifications, it was easier to allow the Indigenous man to be professionally, mentally and physically accosted, dismissed from the ACT public service and subjected to yet further denigration and harassment at the hands of the Inquisitor and the Australian Federal Police whose own complicity is evident in their receipt and failure to denounce the attacks of the perpetrator.

It’s a sordid tale indeed. And Ernst & Young, a private entity with supposedly nothing to gain from the alleged crimes, are at the very heart of the whole thing. They can publish their statements denouncing the intimidation of their presumed former employee Tom Payne and they can pretend they’ve moved on, but the harm done to Pat and his family is ongoing. The active enablement and ongoing silence about what happened to Pat is the legacy that, in my mind, mars the reputation of Ernst & Young. It really does makes you wonder how they can be seen as a responsible corporation. It also makes you wonder why any other company or individual would be interested in dealing with the Big 4 accounting firm, given their inability to assure the security of personal information.

Complicity comes in many forms, but this is a clear cut case of a major international accounting firm that pushes its corporate credentials, including its diversity and human rights position, as marking it as socially responsible and responsive. I don’t trust liars and I certainly do not appreciate hypocrites. Ernst & Young are the Janus of the Big 4 accounting firms, tarnished by the brush of expediency, more concerned about public standing than individual rights. Well, you can’t have it both ways, EY. Respect must be earned and without it, reputation suffers. Tread on the rights of the little man, fail to speak up for him and your own reputation deserves to be judged harshly. History is catching up with you and many, many people are watching.

Will you sign the petition calling for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police?


  1. Anne Shiny via Facebook says:

    Tom Ashby, this is a partial answer to your question posed about my last post. The remaining response is coming.

  2. Complicity a nice name for an awful crime, covering-up for, in this case a racist, who has not only committed the crimes you mention in your post, but has carried out a Klu Klux Klan style racially based campaign of hate against this man and his family which extended to racially abusing and indecently/sexually assaulting Australia’s most senior Aboriginal Australian bank executive, who incidentally was the same person who blew his cover and fraud in using ACT Treasury documents in an unsuccessful attempt to get the ANZ Bank and a successful attempt to get Ernst and Young to hand over documents that he would otherwise not have gotten had he not used ACT Government Stationary. I have seen a letter signed by AFP Deputy Commissioner Phelan saying the inquisitor did NOT commit fraud by using ACT Government stationary to gain unauthorised access to the Commissioners EY personnel file. If it’s not fraud Mr Phelan, what is it, or is the AFP just complicit in the whole thing, the racism, the theft, the cover-up? Australia will ultimately be the judge. P.s. Ms. King did try to make a complaint to the AFP, they just refused to accept it. Suggest you access the letter Deputy Commissioner Fagan wrote to Mr Hart before she allegedly committed suicide! The truth will come out and the AFP won’t look good!

  3. Jenifer Trees I have been involved in the issues surrounding the unconscionable and dare I say unlawful dismissal of the former Commissioner since it occurred in January 2004. In fact I provided psychological guidance to him and his family until I referred him to Dr Flemming. As you said he has been a victim of a Klu Klux Klan style racially motivated campaign of hate, commenced by a subordinate racist who resented having to answer to a “boong cunt”. The AFP assisted in covering up both the racism and the theft. I saw the documents which disappeared after the AFP raided his house in 2004. AFP Agent Rowena Penfold has even testified in court that she breached the AFP’s own rules in NOT, I repeat NOT providing copies of all the documents she seized. These to this day have not been provided!!!! What happened to her? Nothing! The ACTDPP have been caught out making racist statements about the former Commissioner, what happened to the prosecutor concerned? Nothing, absolutely NOTHING! The inquisitor racially abused and indecently assaulted Australia’s most senior Aboriginal Bank Executive, what happened to him? Nothing, absolutely NOTHING! Mrs Pham sacked the Commissioner while she was subject to a grievance lodged by Bradley Allen Solicitors on behalf of the Commissioner; this contravenes the ACT Government’s own guide lines, what happened to her? NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING! The letter that bears Mr Lewis’ original writing and signature named people in the AFP and ACT Government Solicitors Office not to mention the ALP as being involved in the theft of the $130,000,000.00, what happened to them? NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING! I could go on……..

  4. I’m unfamiliar with the background to the issues discussed in this post. However, if I read the facts correctly an Aboriginal Australian held the post of Commissioner for ACT Revenue. He was racially attacked and then sacked because of his ethnicity. During his tenure as Commissioner he uncovered a fraud, or theft involving the Australian Labor Party and a large sum of money. Opportunistically the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Labor Party, the ACT Government and Ernst & Young took the racist attack as chance to rid themselves of a ‘thorn in their sides’. If my analysis is correct this is a serious attack on Australia’s democracy and the democratic principles the country claims to hold dear. Hold Nazi Germany as your mirror as you travel this road.

  5. Sharon Coc your analysis seems sound to me!

  6. Hi Sharon Coc have you read Stendhal’s The Red and the Black? In that he describes the novel as a mirror being carried along a roadway. I know in the twentieth century we tend to write Stendhal’s metaphor off nas a naïve form of realism, but is it. Do words have the power to change? If they are read, almost certainly. I agree with you that Nazi Germany is Australia’s ‘mirror in the roadway’ we have time to change, but this can change can only come about if each of us stands up as says no to complicity. A big ask, yes, a worthwhile idea to pursue, definitely. Do people who have been personally complicity have to be held personally accountable? Absolutely.

  7. Paulo Flores it is a sad day for our democracy when the system turns on the victim of racial vilification because it’s easier to attack the victim when he is down than those who put him there. As has been said, the AFP and the entire ACT Government are complicit in what happened. They can’t say that the female victim of the assault you mention has not complained, I read in an earlier post that she has complained too many including most recently Brendan Smyth MLA Deputy Canberra Liberals Leader, while seated next to him at a function. All I can say is that this whole episode has been a “KKK’ style racist disgrace. Australia should be ashamed for having allowed it to occur in the first place. Yes Bill Wheatley those personally responsible have to be personally accountable!

  8. Does anyone know if the Quinlansformer political advior is involved in any of this? Claims to be planning to stand in next ACT elections. If is involved, he should be outed before the election. I’m happy to stand on street corners and hand out the proof.

  9. Mahmud Ahsan via Facebook says:

    Andy Mason I’ll help handing out the proof. What really sticks in my craw about all of this is that whitie is happy to impose his law on others at the point of a gun or via a Stealth Bomber, but when we non-whities ask him to hold himself accountable under the very same laws he seeks to impose on others he says ‘NO’ why should I, after all I own the guns and the Stealth Bombers, I don’t have to concern myself with trivia like ‘the law’. Yes Nazi Germany is being reflected in the mirror of the ACT Governments immorality.

  10. Racism is totally unacceptable. Sharon Coc I liked your analysis, what do you think came first the racism or the theft or are they independent of each other except for the individual identified as the inquisitor?

  11. Tom says:

    Hey boong cunt sorry to hear about ur cat, the slap lid is next. Get fucked and leave us alone. Bang, bang slap kid dead

  12. Whose good are we talking about, our good or their good? Clearly it’s not our good, because it’s never our good for one of us to be unjustly treated, so it must be their good, and their good comes down to greed. What a way to run a police service!

  13. Canberra is full of theiving, lying, corrupt public servants and our so called political leaders.

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