Beanbags for Bishop program cost $1770

Three $590 beanbags were purchased by the Department of Foreign Affairs for Julie Bishop's innovationXchange initiative.

Taxpayers forked out more than $1700 for three beanbags as part of the federal government's innovationXchange initiative.

The bags were purchased at a cost of $590 each, the Department of Foreign Affairs revealed in an answer to Labor Senate leader Penny Wong.

"This was cheaper, more practical and adaptable than a three-seat couch, which was valued at approximately $2300," DFAT said.

Staff also get to use a table tennis table, which converts to a large conference table for meetings and workshops during the day.

The opposition quizzed the department about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's description of her brainchild initiative as a "gorgeous little funky, hipster, Googly, Facebooky-type place".

"The foreign minister's description relates to a collaborative workspace and a new way of working that encourages creativity and innovation," it said.

The innovationXchange, launched in March, aims to get the best and brightest thinkers to develop more effective aid programs.

The government has set aside $140 million over four years for the program.

Source AAP

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