THE cost of a pilot project to generate employment ballooned by more than 50 per cent by the time a contract was awarded without going to tender.
Braddon Labor MHA Brenton Best initially advised the state government it would cost $600,000 for the Sirolli Institute to transform the economic fortunes of Circular Head, West Coast and Dorset council areas.
In a letter dated October 26, 2011, Mr Best said the Sirolli program would help those communities attract investment, develop new business and boost jobs.
"Under the Sirolli model, government is only required to provide finance to initiate the setting up of the structure ... The driver of this process comes from the passion, pride and entrepreneurial skills of its people," he wrote.
"(We) have an opportunity to lead the way internationally as an icon of what can be achieved economically using this model with our communities bathing in the rewards."
Documents released under Right to Information laws show the Economic Development, Tourism and Arts Department was asked to prepare a budget bid for the Sirolli project two months later.
Premier Lara Giddings then announced in March that her government would provide $950,000 for the institute to carry out the project without going to tender.
Opposition innovation, science and technology spokesman Michael Ferguson said Ms Giddings must explain the increase in the project's cost, and why documents detailing an alternative proposal from the department were not released.
"In the interests of transparency, Ms Giddings must explain why she rejected an alternative recommendation made by her own experts at Economic Development, and why the ongoing secrecy," he said.
A government spokesman said the government decided to choose the Sirolli program after close consultation with the affected communities.