There haven’t been too many women featuring in the blokey world of AWB
Ltd, but there’s a certain senior NAB executive who must be watching
the Cole Inquiry with some trepidation.

Anne
Jackson was someone who seemed to be able to work well with former AWB
Ltd CEO Andrew Lindberg. When Lindberg was CEO of the monopoly
Victorian WorkCover Authority, he outsourced the internal audit
function and brought in the then PwC audit partner to run the process.

Good corporate governance standards have internal auditors reporting to
the independent audit committee of the board but Lindberg had Jackson
reporting directly to him at WorkCover.

When the Bracks government gave Lindberg the flick in 1999-2000, this
was one of the first things that was changed by the new WorkCover
management.

Alas, like several other AWB types, Jackson then popped up at AWB in a
similar internal audit role. It would appear the internal audit process
certainly didn’t kick in as $280 million was being funnelled to Saddam
Hussein’s regime. A complicating factor was the 2002 collapse of Arthur
Andersen after it failed to detect the Enron collapse and claimed HIH
was worth almost $1 billion just months before it fell over.

Sources told Crikey that Jackson then left for NAB where she was once
again a key player in the internal audit process, although it is
unclear whether this period coincided with the non-detection of the
$360 million in foreign exchange losses.

We’ve emailed NAB and Anne Jackson directly to get an accurate picture
of her CV but have simply been stonewalled. The bank’s spinner said
privacy considerations limited what they could say about an employee
but he stressed Anne doesn’t presently work in internal audit and
instead is program director for the BASLE II accounting changes.

If anyone else can complete the picture, drop us a line at [email protected].

Peter Fray

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