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"Flaws" in govt anti-terror funding round

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016

Federal Labor has seized on a scathing audit outlining flaws on how the federal government picked organisations to help prevent radicalisation.

Only 21 of the 42 programs awarded almost $1 million in funding as part of a counter-terrorism strategy should have been successful, the Australian National Audit Office said.

That's if the Attorney-General's Department had picked those that properly met the criteria needed for funding.

The initiative was about backing community-based and non-government groups to help people steer away from violent extremism.

But the department pushed through 46 of the 59 applications that did not properly meet the criteria - which led to 10 of those being fully approved.

The report said the process through which applications were given funding was flawed in "significant respects".

As well, many of the funded organisations have yet to indicate whether they'll register onto a directory connecting people at risk of radicalisation with help - a key requirement.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said it showed government mismanagement and a waste of taxpayer funds.

"It's an astounding conclusion for the audit office to come to, and another indictment of the incompetence of the attorney-general and minister of justice," he told reporters in Melbourne.

Comment has been sought from the Justice Minister Michaal Keenan's office.

A spokesperson for the minister assisting the prime minister on counter terrorism Michael Keenan said the findings were about departmental processes and were not a reflection on the work by grant recipients.

"The program has been a successful initiative and we expect nearly all grant recipients to have overwhelmingly met their milestones," the spokeswoman told AAP on Wednesday.

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