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Senator Hassan to McKinsey: You Are Failing to be Transparent About Your Work

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Hassan pressed leaders of McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, M. Klein & Co., and Teneo about their refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas, foreign conflicts of interest, and dealings with authoritarian regimes during a hearing. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, subpoenaed these firms as part of an inquiry into the efforts of Saudi Arabia to influence policy in the United States. The hearing comes after a court in Saudi Arabia stopped the firms from complying with a congressional subpoena that sought information on their work for the Saudi Arabian government. The companies represented at the hearing today chose not to comply with the U.S. congressional subpoena, because of the Saudi Arabian court’s actions.

To watch Senator Hassan’s hearing questions, click here.

Senator Hassan reiterated Congress’s right to compel documents and testimony from American companies. She pressed the witnesses on why they refuse to comply with the congressional subpoena. “By refusing to respond to this Committee’s subpoena and request for a legal justification for your refusal, your firms appear to have placed your loyalties to Saudi Arabia above your loyalty to the United States of America, our national security, and the principles of transparency,” said Senator Hassan.

Senator Hassan also pressed Bob Sternfels, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Co., and Rich Lesser, Global Chair of Boston Consulting Group, on their companies’ work in China, and expressed her concern that a Chinese court could try to prevent a firm from complying with a congressional subpoena for information on the firm’s work in China. She asked, “If a Chinese court blocked compliance with a congressional subpoena, would you refuse to respond to the subpoena?”

Again, both executives failed to explicitly state that they would comply with a congressional subpoena if a Chinese court told them not to.

“I have led oversight and legislative efforts to bring greater transparency to conflicts of interest from groups like McKinsey in the wake of your failure to disclose your work for opioid producers while simultaneously advising the Food and Drug Administration on opioid regulations,” said Senator Hassan. “Once again, here, McKinsey is failing to be transparent in its work, and in this case, it has significant implications for our national security.”

Senator Hassan has worked to hold consulting firms responsible for potential conflicts of interest when contracting with the federal government. Senator Hassan helped introduce and pass into law in 2022 a bill to prevent conflicts of interest in federal contracting. Senator Hassan has also worked to hold McKinsey accountable for its conflicts of interest related to opioids. During the Senator’s questioning at a 2022 Senate hearing, the FDA announced that it had stopped issuing contracts to McKinsey pending ongoing investigations into potential conflicts of interest. Prior to that, the Senator led her colleagues in calling for a Health and Human Services Inspector General investigation on the FDA’s work with McKinsey and FDA’s contracting policies. Senator Hassan also called out McKinsey’s relationship with Russian state-owned enterprise Rostec.