The government spent thousands on a party at The Lodge as part of former finance minister Mathias Cormann's campaign for the top job at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
There were 63 guests at the event, mostly from the Diplomatic Corps in Canberra. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham confirmed almost all the Heads of Mission from OECD countries were in attendance.
Australia undertook an extensive diplomatic campaign for Mr Cormann in his bid to be voted into the high-profile international gig, including eight staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, use of a taxpayer-funded Royal Australian Airforce private plane for international travel, and more than 50 phone calls from Scott Morrison himself to his counterparts all over the world.
The function in Canberra in October last year was revealed in Senate estimates on Monday afternoon, with Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials confirming $31,950 was spent on a marquee for the function, and a further $2,887.42 on catering. It is unclear if there were other costs involved in the party.
Officials said the marquee was regularly hired in the lead up towards Christmas and covered a series of events, not just the single event for the diplomats.
"Does a $31,000 marquee have any special features?" Labor Senator Tim Ayres asked.
Mr Cormann was elected to the Secretary-General of the international economic body earlier this month. The former finance minister required the votes of a majority of the 37 member states to lead the Paris-based organisation.
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