The Sydney Morning Herald published an editorial on 22 February stating that “DFAT has said that Mr Hockey disclosed to staff his relations with Mr Burnes and the contract was eventually put out to a competitive tender, run by the Department of Finance, which Helloworld won.”
This is incorrect. The statement erroneously conflates the whole of government travel services contract with QBT, a subsidiary of Helloworld, awarded by the Department of Finance in 2015 and a DFAT tender that is still underway for American travel services.
The whole of government travel services contract was awarded in 2015 before Mr Hockey commenced his appointment as Ambassador to the United States.
Mr Hockey has played no role in the DFAT tender for travel services for America, which is still underway.
The article misrepresents these two processes, their timelines and Mr Hockey’s role.
The statement from Mr Hockey on 22 February sets out his role and the timelines.
The Sydney Morning Herald corrected the error by updating the editorial online on 23 February.