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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Page: 2781

Australia Network

(Question No. 526)

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

Has he or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from his department and/or consultants expressing their concerns about the change to the request for tender for the Australia Network contract and/or association documentation; if so, (a) on what date, and (b) can he indicate the nature of their concerns.

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.