The former head of the ACT's now-defunct Land Development Agency, David Dawes, has told an inquiry into the Dickson land swap that perhaps the public servants involved did not 'tick enough boxes'.
But Mr Dawes has also said he had no role in the day-to-day negotiations with the CFMEU-linked Tradies Club over the controversial land swap deal sealed in late 2014.
Mr Dawes, who was also director-general of the economic development directorate at the time, broke his silence about the deal before a Legislative Assembly committee hearing on Wednesday morning.
The land swap centred on the government selling a car park outside the club to the club, with the club in return selling the government two blocks of land it owned nearby, during lengthy negotiations that were completed in late 2014.
Mr Dawes told the committee that perhaps public servants did not tick enough boxes, such as on record-keeping, but defended government officials' actions in relation to the deal.
He also told the committee he could not recall when the deal changed from being a simple purchase of a government car park by the club, into a land swap deal involving the three blocks of land, and concessions an audit found relinquished up to $2.65 million in taxpayer funds.
Despite the audit's findings, Mr Dawes said he believed the transaction was still good value for taxpayers, if one looked at the transaction as a whole, rather than in detailed separate transactions, as the audit report had done.
Asked who was to blame for the transactions in government, Mr Dawes rejected being responsible for the land swap, saying rather he relied on former staff in the economic development directorate.
Mr Dawes said while he said there was no excuse for failures to keep detailed records of the negotiations, he did not check every file as chief executive, but perhaps he should have.
He also strongly rejected any suggestion he or others in government did not act with integrity throughout the transaction, despite the audit office's findings there were numerous "probity risks" in the government's dealings with the club on the matter.