The management of the war memorial's controversial plans to drastically reshape the national institution will be put under a microscope over the coming year.
The Auditor-General Grant Hehir has proposed it look into the Australian War Memorial's processes and planning behind the $500 million project among its list of potential performance audits for the 2021-22 period.
A fine comb would be run through the project's planning, achievement of value for money in the procurement process, and its progress to date in delivering the project.
The redevelopment, first announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in late 2018, has received tough criticism from a broad range of opponents, including former war memorial directors and defence chiefs along with heritage and environmental advocates.
Critics targeted the demolition of the beloved Anzac Hall, a 20-year-old heritage award-winning structure, as well as the half a billion dollars dedicated to the 10-year-plan that they suggested could be better put toward supporting veterans.
War memorial director Matt Anderson said he welcomed the audit office's possible deep dive into the project.
"The Australian War Memorial welcomes the opportunity to participate in this potential performance audit by the ANAO of the Memorial's development, which represents a significant investment by the Australian Government and a project of great importance to our nation, especially our veterans and their families," he said.
Early works, including the hall's demolition and removal of more than a hundred trees around the grounds, were approved by the National Capital Authority last month with deconstruction beginning from July.
The capital authority has also been put forward for a probe by the audit office.
The audit office's proposal would see the authority agency's procurement framework and procurement activities in the spotlight before July 2022 if pushed ahead.
It outlined payments given to suppliers by the National Capital Authority represented 41 per cent of its expenses.
Recent procurements singled out by the audit office included a five-year contract to operate and maintain Scrivener Dam valued at $7.2 million, a $6.9 million contract for pay parking on National land over four years and a three-year $3.1 million contract issued to repair, strengthen and renew the walls of Lake Burley Griffin.
The authority's chief executive Sally Barnes said she was confident in their procurement processes.
"ANAO audits provide valuable checks and balances for achieving value for public money and the NCA welcomes the external review of its procurement framework and procurement activities," Ms Barnes said.
"The services we procure and the outcomes they deliver are central to creating and maintaining a place that all Australians can be proud of."
In addition to potential scrutiny into the war memorial and capital authority, Mr Hehir's audit schedule proposes an additional 74 performance audits.
It has put forward plans to investigate eight more federal grants programs worth more than $7 billion, after first lifting the lid on the sports rorts scandal in early 2020 and an alleged $660 million commuter car park pork barrel.
The vaccine rollout, the bungled COVIDSafe app, unlawful robodebt scheme and the controversial management of the Murray Darling Basin Plan are all being considered for audits as well.
Comment has been sought from the National Capital Authority.
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