Recently retired federal minister Christopher Pyne has denied there is any conflict of interest in his taking on a new role as a consultant to Ernst and Young in the fixing industry.
“Yes I was a fixer for the government but I won’t be doing the actual fixing for Ernst and Young, just lending strategic advice to the fixing department,” stated Mr Pyne. “For instance, there was a man fixing a leaky tap at Ernst and Young when I went in for my interview and whilst I lent him my wrench and told him which way to twist the packing nut there’s no way you could construe that as me doing the fixing.”
Mr Pyne has denied fixing a number of things around the Ernst and Young office that needed fixing, despite their being fixed immediately after he commenced being employed by the firm. Under the Ministerial Standards Code Mr Pyne is forbidden from fixing anything for the next eighteen months.
“I gave Mr Pyne some confidential advice on how to fix a busted dunny door whilst he was a minister,” said parliament house handyman Clive Best. “Now I’ve heard on the handyman grapevine that all the dunny doors at Ernst and Young are no longer banging about in the wind. That’s quite a coincidence.”
Ernst and Young refused to comment when asked why the rickety table in the staff canteen had suddenly become much more stable or how the leaky roof in the boardroom had been resealed, only to say that these were a matter of commercial confidentiality.
“I’m in no position to state whether Mr Pyne was up in the roof looking for shiners in our vapour barrier,” said Cherie Lampard, Senior Vice President for Minor Repairs at Ernst and Young. “I can neither confirm nor deny that he was operating anywhere near that creaky hinge on the front door with an oiling can.”