30 Apr 2014

Agency mystified by Australia aid scrutiny

2:52 pm on 30 April 2014

The head of World Vision Australia says he's mystified by the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's plans to introduce a performance evaluation system to assess foreign aid based on value for money.

Tim Costello says the importance of aid is health and education, which are pre-cursors to trade and economic targets.

He says there's plenty of evaluation already in place and the move is a cynical one.

"The public view is always that any dollar spent overseas must be lost in corruption, so there's always an easy free kick of cynical public attitudes. And I don't the Minister saying you know 'we're going to guarantee value for money and we'll have benchmarks'. But look, we do have plenty of those benchmarks. We have a whole office of Development Effectiveness, so it's a little mystifying."

Tim Costello says Australia would never walk away from its Pacific neighbours and funding and commitment to the region are likely to be much the same.