The background to this report can be found here.

It took a while, was a month or so later than anticipated, and was couched in equivocal language, but it seemed without doubt that the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) had rather dropped the Memorial in it for its management of the Big Build. People who had been observing the project for years from outside (like Honest History/Heritage Guardians had been) were rather unsurprised by the report. It was just a shame that there had been so few other observers over that time – and some folks who should have been watching closely, like the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Estimates Committee, had signally failed to do so.

The report; ABC; Age/SMH; Canberra Times; Guardian Australia; Mandarin; PS News; SMH.

The ANAO is always very cautious in its reports but if it gave marks out of 10, this comes in as a bare pass, perhaps a 6 out of 10.

The Memorial’s quick reaction tried to make the best of things.

Minister Keogh has asked for an urgent briefing from the ANAO, followed by discussions with Memorial management. Watch this space.

Update: 5 July 2024: we've heard nothing further, though we checked with Minister Keogh's office on 20 June in the terms below:

It is over two months since the report that Minister was seeking an urgent briefing from the Audit Office and that discussions would follow with the Memorial 'as a priority'. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-12/auditor-general-criticises-australian-war-memorial-upgrade/103698970      
Has the briefing from the ANAO occurred?
Has the Minister discussed the matter with the Memorial?
Will the Minister be making a public statement on these matters?

Photo credit: Australian War Memorial, February 2024 (supplied)

Apr 13, 2024

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