What are we to make of the Auditor-General’s evidence to the Senate inquiry into sports rorts that 43% (290) of projects funded were ineligible?
That the Prime Minister deliberately misled us in saying the ANAO’s report showed the opposite – that no grants awarded had been assessed as ineligible? That it was all just spin?
Turns out the Auditor General was, rightly, referring to projects approved by Sports Australia, not those 290 projects picked by Bridget McKenzie who had no authority to do so.
The Auditor General, Grant Hehir said “We concluded the award of grant funding under the Community Sports Infrastructure Program was not informed by an appropriate assessment process and sound advice,”
And here’s how little the Minister cared about proper and accountable process:
The 290 ineligible projects that were funded included:
- 272 projects that had started work by the time agreements were signed;
- eight that had completed work before the agreement was signed;
- five late applications that were accepted; and
- four applications that were amended after they were assessed.
And still the Gaetjens report has not been released – not that it’s likely to shed any further light on this sorry saga.
We are fortunate to have a fearlessly independent Auditor General whose reports we can trust. We will need to watch his back though!