Mark Tapley, the former chief of staff for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, is now a key adviser to the ABC on funding.
The Age reports Tapley took up a 12-month consultancy with the ABC on March 9th, two weeks before it lodged its bid to run the Australia Network for another 10 years, but the ABC insists he will have nothing to do with its bid to retain the $220 million service.
On Friday the government asked the ABC to extend is management of the service until February, and set September as a new date on the decision of its tender. But the responsibility also shifted from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to Senator Conroy.
The government is believed to have asked SKY News for more information about their ability to cover new global hotspots in Africa and the Middle East.
ABC communications director Mick Millett said Tapley had been engaged to provide advice after he resigned from Senator Conroy’s office in January, including the triennial funding cycle, also overseen by Conroy’s office.