Who pays the fares?

Australian taxpayers were paying for executives from Microsoft Australia and Hawker de Havilland to attend US conferences, according to allegations made in Parliament today.

Labor Senator George Campbell made the allegations during question time and asked Finance Minister Nick Minchin to explain.

"Can the minister confirm that more than $20,000 of taxpayers' money from the Government's innovation ... program was used to fund travel by executives from Microsoft Australia and Hawker de Havilland to attend conferences in the US?" Senator Campbell asked.

He asked Senator Minchin how he justified the expenditure but Minchin said he knew "nothing".

"I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of the allegations which Senator Campbell makes, but I'm more than happy to look into them and come back to him if I have an answer," Minchin said.

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