It was the plum job that raised eyebrows when it was appointed to a political rival in the lead-up to an election.
But more than a year on from Brendan Smyth's appointment as Canberra's first Commissioner for International Engagement, the former Liberal politician appears to be earning his healthy salary.
Mr Smyth, whose position attracts a $252,000 a year plus benefits, has gone on 10 international trips since last October, spending almost $40,000 on overseas travel.
Five of his trips have been to Canberra's sister-city Wellington, where he has met with the Wellington City Council and the business community to firm up the relationship between the two cities.
Three of those trips related to Canberra Week in Wellington, which was postponed because of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake (Mr Smyth had to drop, crawl and hang on in his hotel room).
Three trips were to Singapore to sell Canberra as a business, innovation, research and development, education, arts and defence hub.
On one trip, Mr Smyth took 15 Canberra businesss to pitch products to a panel of Singaporean investors.
On that trip he also laid the groundwork for future cooperation between Screen ACT and Screen Singapore and worked on developing the freight hub.
A second trip to Singapore saw Mr Smyth join Chief Minister Andrew Barr and a Canberra business, trade and tourism delegation for a week-long visit, with Mr Barr's travel and accommodation costing $8041.
From June 18 to July 3 this year, Mr Smyth embarked on a tour of Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China, which included Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, Tokyo and Toyama.
The delegation include the chief minister as well as Visit Canberra, Cultural Canberra and Innovate Canberra staff, with the Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan stop-overs costing some $70,000.
On that trip he watched the Brumbies play against the Asian Barbarians, signed a memorandum of understanding between the National Arboretum in Canberra and National Parks Board Singapore and spruiked investment opportunities in Canberra.
Mr Smyth's most recent trip was to New Dehli and Bangalore in India, where he represented the ACT at Australia Business Week in India.
The costs of Mr Smyth's trips are met by different areas of government.
The places Mr Smyth visits are guided by the ACT's International Engagement Strategy, which sets Singapore, China, United States of America, New Zealand and Japan as Canberra's priority markets.
These markets have been chosen "because they all have strong economic indicators signalling both capacity and willingness to engage with Australia", a government spokeswoman said.
The strategy also calls on Mr Smyth to strike up closer relationships with individual cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Wu-Han in China; San Francisco, Washington DC, Austin, Denver and Portland in the United States; Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand; and Tokyo and Osaka in Japan.
"All of the commissioner's international engagement to date has supported the development of relationships with people in the priority markets, priority cities and key capability areas," the spokeswoman said.
Mr Smyth's appointment to the high-flying role was controversial.
The former Canberra Liberals leader called time on his 18-year career as a politician to take up the job last July.
It created a political headache for his Liberal colleagues in the lead-up to the October ACT election, with Mr Smyth the party's lead candidate in Tuggeranong.
The first documented discussion within the public service of the creation of the job occurred eight days before Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the position.
The following day officials put up Mr Smyth and his appointment was announced two days later.
Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson only found out about Mr Smyth's new job an hour before it was announced.
ACT Auditor-General Maxine Cooper has said the appointment lacked transparency and there was little explanation of how Mr Smyth's salary, of $252,000 plus benefits, was chosen.
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