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Federal order to censor report could undermine auditor’s role

Australia’s auditor-general Grant Hehir has warned that a federal decision to suppress criticism of a $2-billion Department of Defence contract has set “a dangerous precedent” that limits independent scrutiny of government expenditure.

A report conducted by the Australian National Audit Office in 2017 assessed the value for money of a Defence contract to buy armoured vehicles for the Australian army from manufacturer Thales Australia.

While the audit was being undertaken, federal attorney-general Christian Porter (above) issued instructions to prevent publication of “certain material” in the final report.

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