The Australian Defence Force has sidestepped conflict of interest concerns over a social media review awarded to George Patterson Y&R, the advertising behemoth that also handles the ADF’s coveted $40 million recruitment account.

The “external” Facebook and Twitter probe, part of a suite of inquiries into the ADF following the notorious Australian Defence Force Academy Skype scandal, was announced by Defence Minister Stephen Smith last Friday and will deliver its findings by the end of July.