15 Nov. 2007

Pork. Barrel.

Curious, innit? The Howard government still has not properly responded to the ANAO report on regional grant rorting, and yet the Murdoch media have already launched an attack - on the messenger, of course.

Never mind that Mark Vaile's office was deliberately (and unsuccessfully) trying to delay the report till AFTER the election.
AAP today learned that Mr Vaile knew at least a month ago and most likely in September that the report's release was imminent.

The audit began in April last year.

Asked why the report had been published nine days before polling day, an Audit Office spokesman pointed to several explanations hidden in the 1205-page document.

An advance version of the proposed report was sent to Mr Vaile's Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) in September this year to enable it to comment on the findings.

The formal draft report was then issued in October to the department and to Mr Vaile, along with other ministers and former ministers who shared responsibility for the regional partnerships program.

Despite having 28 days to comment on the report, Mr Vaile did not respond to the draft findings.