Analysis

David Collard’s previous arrest by NYPD in 2013

The failed Australian businessman and former confidant of the Deputy Prime Minister has a record of getting arrest. And getting off.


Deputy PM’s former confidant charged with assault and harassment

In the past seven months the CEO of Scale Facilitation David Collard has had his business raided by the AFP over alleged tax fraud and then wound up for insolvency, faced lawsuits for unpaid wages and debts, and defaulted on the purchase of battery start up Britishvolt. Now he’s up on assault charges in the United States.


Scale Facilitation's inflated invoice to UK subsidiary raises questions about VAT refund

Scale Facilitation was raided in June by the Australian Federal Police over an alleged $76m tax fraud and now tax experts in the UK are calling on authorities there to investigate the firm over its Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.


Scale Facilitation established a company in tax haven of Malta

Scale Facilitation, a company raided by the AFP in June over the biggest alleged tax fraud in Australian history, established a subsidiary in Malta with the help of PwC to reduce its tax obligations, Open Politics can reveal.


The missing piece of the integrity puzzle: politicians' private interests

Federal parliament needs to act against MPs who don’t declare their private interests and restrict gifts, free travel, and hospitality from influence peddlers. Check out our proposed reforms.


The real story behind David Collard’s departure from PwC

Exclusive: The CEO and founder of scandal plagued Scale Facilitation left PwC in circumstances he’d prefer to keep under wraps.


US authorities investigate Australian company over alleged wage theft

Scale Facilitation, the scandal plagued company promoted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, is alleged to have breached New York State wage theft laws.


Travel and hospitality

Getting Scalier: David A. Collard's creditors, lawsuits, now a thing of Scale

Australian entrepreneur and ex-PwC partner David A. Collard is being sued for rent on both his fancy apartment in Manhattan as well as Scale's 88th floor World Trade Center headquarters. That's on top of an ATO tax raid, unpaid staff and creditors, and defaulting on the purchase of Britishvolt in the UK.


Travel and hospitality

Is PwC caught up in Scale Facilitation’s alleged $150 million tax fraud?

Scale Facilitation is in default in its takeover of Britishvolt. After a financial crime taskforce raid in Australia and failures to pay staff both here and in the US, its chief executive David A. Collard remains defiant. Open Politics questions why PwC is getting paid when staff and creditors have been missing out.


Travel and hospitality

New revelations about ex-PwC partner's company raided over alleged tax fraud

An ex-PwC partner's lithium battery startup Scale Facilitation pulled a top flight crowd from both sides of Australian politics to its grand Manhattan HQ opening in December. Since then, Australian staff haven't been paid on time, the AFP has raided their Geelong offices over alleged tax fraud, and now we can reveal concerning and bizarre activities stateside.


Travel and hospitality

Ninth politician caught not disclosing junket

In what is becoming an all to regular occurrence, another federal parliamentarian has failed to disclose their privately funded overseas trip - the ninth we've discovered in less than eight months. Open Politics looks at what's driving a culture of non-compliance and how to fix it.


Travel and hospitality

Golf classified: Deputy PM won't budge on naming wealthy golf buddy

Despite our emails, phone calls, and now an FOI request to his office, Richard Marles just won't divulge who provided him with a free round of golf at an exclusive US golf club on the eve of AUKUS talks last year.


Real estateOther income

Please explain, Pauline Hanson: Why didn't you declare your $1.1m property?

Senator Hanson's statement to the Register of Senators’ Interests last week is one of the strangest we've seen: she declared no longer receiving rental income from a property she never declared to the register.


Travel and hospitality

Foreign governments and private groups subsidise 132 overseas trips over four years

Nearly 30% of federal parliamentarians have accepted sponsored overseas travel and hospitality since the 2019 election, raising questions about undue influence peddling from foreign and commercial interests.


Travel and hospitality

Fore! Deputy PM won't disclose details about free golf round

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles has breached parliamentary rules and the Ministerial Code of Conduct by not disclosing who gave him a free round of golf at a top US club with an ugly past.


Travel and hospitality

Transparency MP the latest caught not declaring junket

The other week our social media monitoring uncovered five politicians who didn't declare privately-sponsored junkets. Today we look at two more and ask why interest disclosure rules are not being enforced.


Travel and hospitality

Taipei Confidential: More junkets exposed

Another day, another revelation. Our social media sleuthing has uncovered more MPs who haven’t declared privately sponsored overseas trips.


Travel and hospitality

Three politicians fail to declare overseas junkets

If you are a politician who appears in happy snaps while on privately funded junkets, it's probably a good idea to disclose who funded your trip to the parliament's interests registers.


Gifts Hospitality

Money AND gifts: How the gambling industry buys political influence

In addition to donating millions to Labor and the Coalition parties, gaming companies and pokies venues are giving hundreds of expensive gifts to their federal MPs, our new analysis reveals. Open Politics shows who's giving and who’s getting, as well as those with shares in gambling companies.


Shareholdings

The company they keep: where MPs invest

Open Politics' analysis shows which public companies and industries are popular investments with federal MPs, who the big shareholders and traders are, and highlights potential conflicts of interest.


Shareholdings

Assistant Health Minister invests in Big Tobacco

While the Albanese government seeks to toughen tobacco controls, the Assistant Health Minister Ged Kearney is investing in index funds with shareholdings in the tobacco industry. Update: Kearney divested three days after this story was published.


GiftsTravel and hospitality

The public cost of private gifts

Much is made of the corrupting impact of political donations but little attention is paid to the non-monetary kind: gifts, free travel and hospitality that many federal parliamentarians eagerly accept from vested interests. Open Politics looks at the risk these benefits pose and the need for reform.


Travel and hospitality

Hollie's undeclared junket to the Holy Land

Liberal senator and shadow minister Hollie Hughes has breached Senate rules by not declaring her sponsored travel to Israel. Open Politics looks at a repeat offender and the need for reform. Update: Hughes disclosed the trip three days after this story was published.


Real Estate

No housing crisis for politicians

While owning a home has become out of reach for millions of Australians, many parliamentarians are building large real estate portfolios with the help of tax concessions and taxpayer-funded travel allowances.


Shareholdings

Another minister in breach of the ministerial code of conduct?

Following Open Politics' revelations about the shareholdings of Bill Shorten, Tim Ayres and Kristy McBain on 27 August, we've found the Assistant Health and Ageing Minister Ged Kearney is potentially in breach of the code by having indirect shareholdings in the Australian healthcare sector.


Richo: The lobbyist prohibited from lobbying

Open Politics has exposed that lobbyist and notorious ex-Labor senator Graham Richardson is not on the federal lobbyist register. This prohibits him from talking to anyone in the federal government on behalf of his clients.


Travel and hospitality

Liberal senator fails to declare helicopter flight

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes has not declared to the Register of Senators' Interests a helicopter flight she took as a guest of the Port of Newcastle Corporation in 2020, Open Politics can reveal.


A system Eddie Obeid would love

Many federal politicians don't declare their private interests, fail to fully disclose them, or don't do so in the required time, and the officials who manage the interest registers say it's not their job to enforce the rules. Open Politics looks at a disclosure regime that only serves politicians.


GiftsTravel and hospitality

The price of admission

Federal politicians from NSW and Queensland never miss an opportunity to promote their love of the people's game in the belief it makes them more relatable to voters - think the PM with the Sharks and the Opposition Leader with his Rabbitohs. But, unlike the average spectator, they rarely pay to attend games, with the NRL and others providing free tickets. Does the public end up paying the bill?


GiftsTravel and hospitality

Corruption starts with a half price hamburger

Open Politics is launching a campaign to stop federal MPs and senators accepting gifts, free travel and hospitality from private groups and foreign governments. Join us by asking your local MP to make an election commitment to decline benefits in the next term of parliament.


Travel and hospitalityGifts

Backers of beer tax campaign ply politicians with booze and hospitality

The (un)successful campaign to cut the beer tax was funded by the Australian Hotels Association, the Australian Brewers Association, and Clubs Australia. Open Politics details the booze and hospitality these organisations and their members have dished out to MPs and senators since the last election.(Despite Newscorp media confidently predicting a budget cut, the night turned into a fizzer for the industry. All that lobbying and largesse wasted.)


ShareholdingsGiftsTravel and hospitality

The links between politicians and dirty energy

One in four parliamentarians or their immediate family have declared shareholdings in or gifts and travel or hospitality from companies that are among the nation's 100 largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters, an examination of the interest registers reveals.


Travel and hospitalityGiftsMemberships

Flying high: How politicians travel in style

Qantas and Virgin provide MPs and senators with access to luxury airport lounges and flight upgrades. But at what cost. Open Politics tallies up the freebies being dished out by Australia’s domestic carriers and foreign airlines.


Travel and hospitalityGifts

Donor Kebab: Political donors give more than money

Cross referencing the Australian Electoral Commission's donations register with the Parliament's interests registers reveals industrial scale influence peddling, with some of Australia's largest donors providing federal politicians with food, alcohol, and sports and concert tickets. And a Coalition MP suspects this is not the full extent of the largesse.


The Senate's family secrets

Unlike MPs, senators are not required to publicly disclose the interests of their partners and children. As a result, almost nothing is known about the family interests of 11 ministers and 10 shadow ministers. Open Politics discusses why this matters.


Travel and hospitality

Political junkets and influence

If you want a free overseas holiday it pays to be an elected official. But it may not be costless. Here's our analysis on the foreign governments, think tanks, and lobby groups giving junkets to our MPs and senators.


Travel and hospitalityGifts

Gambling industry sprays hospitality and gifts

Politicians are the big winners from Australia's gambling companies. See our analysis of who's receiving hospitality and gifts from an industry that ignores its anti-money laundering obligations.