Treasurer Joe Hockey has granted the Commission of Audit a two-week extension to prepare its initial recommendations.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has given the government’s Commission of Audit an extra two weeks to deliver its initial interim report.

The commission was originally given a target of January 31 for the first phase of its reporting.

However, the commission has since advised the government that while it has made considerable progress in preparing the report, it would require a short extension.

“The government has granted this extension on the basis that it is important for this report to be as comprehensive as possible,” Mr Hockey said in a statement on Tuesday.

But Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the report was initially due before next month’s by-election in the Queensland seat of Griffith, but was now due after it.

“That stinks,” he told reporters. “Don’t hide your bad news until after people have voted.”