A warning about former sports minister Bridget McKenzie’s legal authority to give out millions of dollars in grants went to a high-level official in the health department but was ignored, according to new evidence to the sports rorts inquiry.
An email handed to the Senate inquiry reveals that in June 2018 a health department official warned a superior that McKenzie might need to formally order Sport Australia to make her the decision-maker for grants programs. The official suggested the department get legal advice.
The new evidence draws into question why the health department failed to warn Sport Australia that it might need to seek legal advice about the $100m community sport infrastructure grant program.
The chair of the inquiry, Labor senator Anthony Chisholm, seized on the evidence, which he said contradicted claims from health department officials in August that the email document was “a one-off email between relatively junior officers”.
The email from an official in…
— to www.theguardian.com