Tom Ridge Is a Busy Little Bee

Many people at the IIA Chicago conference last Monday asked me if I had attended or spoke at the the IIA General Audit Management Conference that had taken place a few weeks earlier. I’ll be honest… As a small firm, I have to choose carefully which events I attend as a regular paid attendee. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to speak often or now to attend as media/blogia.

But someone from Deloitte mentioned that Tom Ridge had been the keynote speaker and that now he was a “Senior Advisor” at Deloitte.

“Former Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security shares views on risk. Ridge serves on several public and private boards and is currently the chairman of the National Organization on Disability. In addition to his own consulting activities, Ridge currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Deloitte & Touche, LLP.”

“October 30, 2006, Tom Ridge Named Deloitte & Touche USA Senior Advisor, Former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to Focus on Key Challenges Facing State Governments”

I thought that was pretty odd, as I had recently seen some news that he was resigning from the Home Depot Board.

Tom Ridge leaving Home Depot board

Ridge only served one term on the Home Depot Board (KPMG, as you may recall, is their auditor), having been originally elected to the Board of Home Depot at last May’s Annual Meeting.

Tom Ridge is leaving the Home Depot Board why? Of course the SEC filing says nothing. Is Home Depot planning to dump KPMG for Deloitte? Does it have anything to do with ongoing investigations and the departure of their General Counsel and HR guy? Just asking…

Maybe he just found greener pastures…

April 5, 2005 – “Savi Technology, Inc., a leading provider of active RFID solutions for supply chain management and security, announced today the appointment of Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, to the company’s Board of Directors. Savi was purchased by Lockheed Martin in 2006.”

Lockheed Martin has a very close relationship with Deloitte Consulting. Oh, those pesky business alliances again
Dear SEC: Can a director of a subsidiary of a global defense contractor also be an employee/consultant of a public accounting firm that has lucrative prime/subcontractor relationships with that global defense contractor?

“IWN is needed now. That’s why Team IWN is the right choice. Our solution builds on existing systems, so federal agents and officers will have a communications network faster, at a lower cost and with reduced risk. Lockheed Martin – Lockheed Martin, the government’s largest systems integrator, will lead Team IWN and assure the system is developed and deployed quickly. Deloitte – As a leader in managing change during complex business challenges, Deloitte will assure robust business processes and organizational change management.”

November 6, 2006 – “Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has offered the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) a solution for rapid nationwide deployment of biometric identification cards for the next phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The Lockheed Martin team bidding the proposal includes Daon, Datatrac, Deloitte Consulting LLP, MAXIMUS, Inc., and LexisNexis Special Services Inc., and will focus on maximizing port stakeholder outreach to achieve an efficient and effective rollout…Deloitte Consulting LLP will apply its general expertise in outreach and change management and will retain a major port stakeholder for the purpose of providing the team with critical insight into maritime stakeholder management.”

Dear SEC: Can a “Senior Advisor” of Deloitte also be a “Senior Advisor” of a firm that is being awarded accolades by Deloitte as a top technology firm to watch? Who is on the selection committee for the award? Is there a “quid pro quo“?

“Abraxas Corporation Announces Tom Ridge, Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Joins Advisory Board MCLEAN, Va., March 27, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Abraxas Corporation, a risk mitigation technology company based in Northern Virginia, today announced that Tom Ridge, the former Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania, has joined its Board of Advisors.”

Oct. 12, 2006 “Abraxas Corporation, a global risk mitigation services provider headquartered in McLean, Virginia, has been named a Rising Star in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program for Virginia. Deloitte & Touche reports that Abraxis revenue growth of 714% over three years, from about 2002-2005.”