PwC to lead ballot process for Oscars again

MUMBAI: Continuing its 73-year association with the Academy Awards, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced that Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas will lead the balloting process for the 79th Annual Academy Awards.


For the second consecutive year, PwC’s Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas are the only two people in the world who will know the identity of the winners before the live telecast on ABC on 25 February, 2007.


“PricewaterhouseCoopers facilitates complete confidentiality and security of the Academy Awards voting process by counting every single ballot by hand. Trust, integrity and tradition continue to be the core of the Academy Awards balloting process and that of our relationship with PwC, one of Hollywood’s longest standing relationships,” said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis.


In 73 years, only 12 partners have counted the ballots. To promote secrecy, Oltmanns and Rosas lead a closed-mouth group of accountants who work on the project from a secret location for several days. There are approximately 6,000 voting members, which translates to approximately 1,700 “person-hours” each year to count and verify the ballots.


“PricewaterhouseCoopers has created an intentionally low-tech process of hand tabulations that is proven to maintain the highest level of security and secrecy for seven decades and counting. This assignment is one that truly represents an honor, privilege and thrill of a lifetime,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers – Los Angeles managing partner Brad Oltmanns.


“We are committed to our enduring engagement with the Academy and safeguarding Hollywood’s most enduring secret. We take great pride in this important role of being the Academy’s ballot partner and in the fact that there has never been a security breach during our 73-year relationship,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entertainment and Media practice tax partner Rick Rosas.


Now in his third year in a lead balloting role, Oltmanns has served PricewaterhouseCoopers for 27 years, and is in charge of managing its entire 1,000-person staff in Los Angeles. Rosas has served the firm for 11 years and was appointed tax partner in 2001. This is his sixth year leading the Academy’s balloting process.


PricewaterhouseCoopers mails eligible Academy members the nomination ballots in December, final ballots in February, and receives and processes all ballots. The balloting partners then manually tabulate the responses according to Academy rules. As a precautionary measure, two complete sets of envelopes bearing recipients’ names are prepared and brought by PricewaterhouseCoopers partners to the ceremony via separate, secret routes. As a second precautionary measure, the PricewaterhouseCoopers partners also memorize the names of the award winners.


Identities of Oscar recipients are kept confidential until they are announced during the live telecast, during which Oltmanns and Rosas remain backstage and hand the envelopes to award presenters immediately before they walk onstage.