By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian branch of the PricewaterhouseCoopers consultancy network has ordered nine partners to go on leave while an inquiry examines the leaking of confidential Australian tax avoidance policy changes to corporate clients who could benefit from the information. PwC’s acting chief executive Kristin Stubbins apologized Monday as she announced the directors had taken leave pending a review of the firm’s governance, accountability and culture. A report on the investigation is due in September. Stubbins said in an open letter: “I want to apologize on behalf of PwC Australia for sharing confidential government tax policy information and for betraying the trust placed in us.” The scandal has damaged the firm’s relationship with the Australian government. Police also are investigating.