In a usually-quiet corner of Parliament House, a bureaucrat in the spotlight revealed the cost of a last-minute change to a spreadsheet.
Bridget McKenzie's decision - three hours after the 2019 federal election was called - to add nine projects to those being funded under a controversial sport grants program cost taxpayers $2.7 million.
Five of those project proponents had sent in late applications while the other four amended their requests for money after the closing date.
Sport Australia chief operating officer Luke McCann told the hearing this was all fine because only the attachment changed, not the decision brief.
That's the brief the former minister swears she signed a week earlier - well before the election was called.
Labor senator Katy Gallagher couldn't believe it.
"Can you explain to me how a brief is signed on 4 April but the attachments containing the project decision sheets can change up until 12.43 on 11 April? How does that work?"
McKenzie's office told Sport Australia the original attachment contained errors, McCann said.
"I don't know what spreadsheet was attached to the ministerial brief when it was signed," he said.
Was it normal to have a list of projects dated later than the official paperwork?
"I wouldn't imagine so, but again, I wouldn't speculate as to what was going on in the minister's office, we're not privy to that."
McCann further told the committee the same thing happened with the first round of the grants, funded in December 2018.
It's easy to get bogged down in the details of the sports rorts scandal as revelations drip out about who sent what email at what time.
But the core of the matter is this: the Coalition, on the brink of an election many, even among its ranks, thought it would lose, was rejigging how best to funnel taxpayer money into projects based in electorates it desperately needed to hold or win.
Seven of the last-minute additions were in coalition-held seats and the other two were in marginal electorates the government thought it had a good chance of winning.
And changes made after the country had toppled into the election campaign - no longer on the brink - cost you $2.7 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to slip out of Labor's attempts to mire him or his office in the scandal.
But he's taken to slinging personal attacks in parliament - last week accusing Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese of throwing mud while sitting in a swamp and this week calling him feeble.
Almost all eyes and ears in the parliamentary press gallery were tuned in to the Sport Australia hearing, which was always going to be one of the highlights of this estimates week.
Labor says anything about the sports rorts it puts online 'blows up'.
But in other, quieter corners of Parliament House, other bureaucrats were also revealing important tidbits.
One committee learned Australia is warming faster than the rest of the world and the Great Barrier Reef is weeks away from another serious bleaching, the third in five years.
Another heard a Liberal Party donor had been handed $1.1 million of taxpayers' money despite initially being ruled ineligible for the grant.
What's more, the project created just 18 jobs although it promised 200.
Elsewhere, senators were told Australia had put itself at a serious disadvantage in negotiating its $80 billion new submarine contract by naming the preferred builder before signing anything.
And taxpayers were slugged with millions of dollars in cost blowouts through the misuse of a captioned telephone service for deaf Australians.
Reporters for AAP, the national newswire, kept tabs on all the hearings, every minor but important motion in the lower house chamber, every speaker on every bill, as they have for decades.
This week, colleagues did so while reeling from the shock news the wire will close in June after 85 years.
The nation's leaders noted the ramifications of the decision in parliament.
"Democracy should not be taken for granted ... the Australian public will be less informed as a result of the decision today that I think is a great tragedy," Albanese said on Tuesday.
As the Washington Post puts it, democracy dies in darkness.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.