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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Page: 2779

Australia Network

(Question No. 521)

Ms Julie Bishop asked the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 18 August 2011:

Did he or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from his department regarding the report of the tender panel for the Australia Network contract, including any recommendation on a preferred tenderer; if so, (a) on what date was the brief (i) received by his office, and (ii) sighted by him, and (b) can he indicate what type of ministerial action was requested by his department, and what resulting action he took.

Dr Emerson: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

In the period since Ms Julie Bishop submitted Questions on Notice 513 to 529 on 18 August 2011, the Government terminated the Australia Network tender process due to significant leaks of confidential information to the media and referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police for investigation. The Auditor-General has also decided to conduct a performance audit of the administration of the Australia Network tender processes. As the Questions on Notice go to matters being considered by the Australian Federal Police and Australian National Audit Office, it would not be appropriate to comment.