Table: Auditing the Auditor
Gazprom minority shareholders want to fire PwC
CRITICISM: PwC had a conflict of interest in agreeing to review its own past work in a probe last year of financial ties between client Gazprom (OGZPF ) and Russian gas producer Itera. Minority shareholders had called for a review by rival auditor Deloitte & Touche.
RESPONSE: PwC says it assured the integrity of the review by having it conducted by auditors from offices outside of Moscow.
CRITICISM: PwC's Gazprom-Itera final report was a whitewash on behalf of Gazprom management.
RESPONSE: PwC declined to comment on the report, but says ill-informed critics have consistently been unable to prove improprieties between Gazprom management and Itera.
CRITICISM: Even though Gazprom pipeline contractor Stroitransgaz listed itself as majority-owned by Gazprom managers and relatives in a February, 1999, filing with Russia's Federal Securities Commission, PwC signed off on Gazprom financial reports for 1999 that made no mention of this "related party" tie.
RESPONSE: PwC, which disclosed Stroitransgaz as a related party in its 2000 report, declined to comment on the omission from Gazprom's 1999 report.