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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5621

Ms JULIE BISHOP (10:27 AM) —I thank the parliamentary secretary for taking those questions on notice. Perhaps if I can put it this way: will the parliamentary secretary confirm that the previous occasion when an Israeli diplomat was asked to leave was not to do with forging, falsification or anything else connected with Australian passports? In fact, it was not a policy or political matter. Rather than identifying the specific reasons, if he could confirm that it was not about a passport matter, I would appreciate that.

On a matter of AusAID, will the parliamentary secretary provide an answer—and, if not, take it on notice—about the number of cases of fraud that AusAID is currently investigating. I also seek answers to a number of questions about the management of AusAID’s contracts. There is evidence to suggest that a number of AusAID contracts are being awarded to ex-AusAID staff. An example is an ex-AusAID officer, Peter Kelly, being paid $433,000 tax-free a year to supervise road maintenance in Vanuatu. Would the parliamentary secretary advise how many contracts are currently in place with ex-AusAID staff, what processes are being followed in the awarding of contracts to ensure that there is equal opportunity given to other bids or tenders for the work, and what safeguards are in place to ensure that there is nothing untoward in a governance, transparency and accountability sense in awarding AusAID contracts?