The group has previously lobbied on behalf of Santos, among others, and lists China Telecom Global and Delta Electricity as clients.
The federal opposition has called for an investigation into revelations that a lobbying firm run by the National party president, Larry Anthony, was acting for energy companies and the firm behind the cashless welfare card.
Anthony, a former minister in the Howard government, is no longer registered as a lobbyist. But he remains a director of the SAS Group, a lobbying firm which counts Santos, Delta Electricity and Indue among its clients.
Fairfax Media on Saturday reported concerns about potential conflicts of interest posed by the arrangement.
Anthony told Fairfax he did not blend his political and commercial work, and had removed himself from the lobbyist register when he took the National party job.
“We do take [the lobbyist code of conduct] very seriously and we comply with it to the letter,” he told Fairfax.
The SAS Group immediately rejected the report as “baseless”. It maintained it had always acted in accordance with federal lobbying laws and the code of conduct.
“We note that the Fairfax journalist has made no allegation of impropriety, and was not able, when asked, to point to any breach of the relevant code,” the company said in a statement.
“We are unbothered by the baseless implications upon which the news story is founded. However, we are deeply offended that our hard-working staff and consultants should have their achievements debased in this way.”
Labor’s deputy Senate leader, Don Farrell, said the claims must be investigated by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
“To claim that Mr Anthony removing his name from the register and claiming that he is not actively involved in direct lobbying makes a mockery of the obvious intent of the code to prevent conflicts of interest,” Farrell said.
“Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce must insist that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet thoroughly investigate all government contracts awarded to organisations represented by Mr Anthony’s lobbying firm.”
Anthony was formerly a director of Indue between 2005 and 2013, according to records from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic).
SAS Group continues to lobby on Indue’s behalf. The company has been awarded contracts for the cashless welfare card in a limited tender process.
Guardian Australia is not suggesting any link between Anthony and the tender process.
When Guardian Australia queried the tender process earlier this month, the Department of Social Services said it had awarded contracts to Indue after sounding out banks and other financial institutions about their interest in providing the cashless welfare card.
“DSS conducted thorough consultations with major banks, finance and retail institutions about the potential provision of services for the cashless debit card. These consultations indicated a lack of commercial interest in delivering a small scale trial of this nature,” the department said.
“Independent probity advice to DSS confirms that the procurement process was conducted in accordance with the commonwealth procurement rules, relevant legislation, policies and probity principles.”
The department’s version was later confirmed by Westpac, which said: “Over a number of years the government has sought feedback on the card. We indicated to the government it was not something we are interested in delivering.”
Indue said Anthony held no shares in the company at any point in its history.
“Indue is wholly owned by financial institutions, all of which have their heritage in the mutual and credit union sector,” the company told Guardian Australia earlier this month.
“At no time has any individual (or through any controlled entities) owned shares in Indue Ltd or any of its subsidiaries.”
“At no time has MP Larry Anthony or any entities he controls owned shares in Indue Ltd or any of its subsidiaries.”