Australian senator Rex Patrick has tabled allegations against a Commonwealth official over financial management aspects of the country’s Future Submarine office in Cherbourg, France.
The senator put questions regarding the allegations and the process into funding the facility for Australia’s $50 billion Future submarines project, Defence Connect reported last Friday.
"My understanding is that there is a Commonwealth official under investigation at this presents moment relating to misappropriation of funds," Senator Patrick was quoted as saying by the news portal.
"Defence is conducting an investigation into some allegations in relation to financial management around aspects of that, but just to confirm for you we are confident about the building," Secretary of the Defence Department Greg Moriarty said.
"I don't want to go into further detail while there's a proper process underway, but just to let you know that we are undergoing an investigation."
"I can say to you that I have full confidence in the construction of that building, the security of that building and I'm happy that we've ended up with a fine facility," Deputy Secretary of Capability Acquisition Sustainment Group (CASG) Kim Gillis said. "Allegations are just that at this stage."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opened Australia’s Future Submarine Office in Cherbourg in July, in the presence of the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly.
The office is a tripartite secure facility that will house submarine designers, naval architects and engineers who will work alongside each other on Australia’s Future Submarine Program. The facility is known as ‘Hughes House’.
Construction of the submarines will begin in 2022.
The first of the 12 submarines is likely to begin entering service in the early 2030s. Construction of the 12 new submarines will extend into the late 2040s to 2050 timeframe.