Bridget McKenzie says she has “no regrets” about her conduct despite a disclosure that showed “some significant shortcomings” in her oversight of a grants program.

The secret report by former prime minister and cabinet department secretary Phil Gaetjens was released last week and criticized the “lack of transparency” behind the decision-making process.

Responding to the report for the first time on Sunday, the former sports minister said he stood by his decisions.

“When I was briefed on the Gaetjens report a couple of years ago, Mr. Gaetjens made it clear that there was a perceived violation of ministerial standards with respect to a gifted member not being declared in good time,” Senator McKenzie told Sky News.

“I would argue that it played no part in my decision-making process, but in the interests of my personal integrity when faced with the question of whether you, as a minister, have breached ministerial standards, the only appropriate action is to resign, which I did.

Senator McKenzie resigned from the cabinet in early 2020 after Gaetjens concluded his investigation. Although a summary of the report was published at the time, the full investigation has not been published.

The probe was ordered after a scathing Auditor General report found the grants program was geared towards the fringe government seats the Coalition was targeting ahead of the 2019 election.

It was later revealed that Senator McKenzie’s office had entered the 2,000 questions into a spreadsheet and color-coded them according to the party holding the electorate.

In his report, Gatejens said there were “concerns about the decision-making process” but found no evidence that political considerations fueled the way the grants were awarded.

But it found Senator McKenzie violated ministerial standards by not declaring she was a member of the Wangaratta Clay Target Club which received a $36,000 grant.

“This lack of transparency, coupled with the significant divergences between the designs recommended by Sport Australia and those approved by the minister, has raised concerns about the decision-making process,” he wrote.

“Those who applied for grants were, in my view, entitled to a deeper understanding of the basis on which funding decisions were made.”

Asked if she accepted Mr. Gaetjens’ characterization of her conduct, Senator McKenzie said she was “proud” of the project.

“He also said that I acted within my mandate as a minister within the guidelines, etc., of the policy portfolio. So I remain proud of that project,” she said.

Senator McKenzie refused to accept that she struggled with the report but said she wanted violations of ministerial standards addressed “consistently” in the future.

“I have absolutely no regrets about my decisions at the time,” he added.

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