9 Jan 2017

Australian aid under fresh scrutiny

4:05 pm on 9 January 2017

Australia's foreign aid programmes are facing fresh scrutiny after an independent audit revealed transparency reporting has dropped significantly under the Coalition Government.

The Australian Defence Force also works out of the air transport aid hub at Nausori near Suva

The Australian Defence Force also works out of the air transport aid hub at Nausori near Suva following Cyclone Winston in February, 2016. Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

The foreign aid budget has fallen to its lowest level in eight years and the ABC reports experts have raised concerns about accountability and access to reports and results.

Researchers at the Australian National University's Development Policy Centre found publicly available information on aid projects had fallen by 25 percent since 2013.

Vanuatu food supplies will last three weeks

Cyclone victims get help in Vanuatu Photo: AFP

This is despite the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop vowing to introduce more rigourous benchmarks for aid programmes that year.

The government said it remains firmly committed to the transparency of Australia's aid program and would continue to improve the availability of information.

Aid groups and policy think tanks have been calling for improved transparency for years, particularly in light of nearly a billion US dollars in aid cuts since 2014.

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