The Australian Electoral Commission is considering investigating a mystery $165,000 political donation to the Liberal Party from a close associate of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Labor's assistant immigration spokesman Andrew Giles has written to the AEC requesting it investigate the donation from Southern Strategy, a firm headed by former New South Wales Liberal Party deputy state director Scott Briggs, after the Liberal Party told the Guardian newspaper its disclosure had been a mistake.
The donation from the entity Southern Strategy continues to appear in the online 2018-19 Liberal Party annual returns published on the AEC website, but there are no appended details apart from the organisation's Sydney address in George Street.
The Guardian reported that Mr Briggs denied making the donation, and the Liberal Party said its returns would be amended to reflect this.
But Mr Giles said the entire episode was "fishy" and needed to be investigated.
"It just does not make a lot of sense to me, and they have not offered an adequate explanation," he said. "I am incredulous that there is no explanation except to claim that it is a mistake."
An AEC spokesman confirmed it had received Mr Giles' request for an investigation "which we are considering".
The issue came to light following revelations in the Canberra Times that another company headed by Mr Briggs donated more than $130,000 to the Liberal Party while bidding for a lucrative $1 billion visa processing contract from the federal government.
Political donation records released by the Australian Electoral Commission show that Mr Briggs' private investment firm Pacific Blue Capital has contributed $133,000 to the Liberal Party since late 2017, including 14 donations worth $90,000 between November 2018 and February last year.
Pacific Blue Capital is leading the Australian Visa Processing consortium that is vying for a Department of Home Affairs contract to build and operate a single online platform to receive, process and issue visas for more than nine million applicants a year.
The consortium, which also includes PricewaterhouseCoopers, National Australia Bank, Qantas Ventures and Ellerston Capital, is one of two competing for the work. The rival bid is from Australia Post and Accenture.
Mr Giles said the public deserved answers.
"There is something very fishy about this process and it is vitally important that Australians know about what is going on," he said.
The tender, which is part of a broader Department of Home Affairs initiative to upgrade and simplify the visa IT system, has become mired in controversy amid concerns that outsourcing visa processing will put the security of sensitive personal and national data at risk and potentially cost hundreds of jobs.
A request was made to the Liberal Party for comment.