International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda apologized to a Commons committee Friday as she explained how a government document came to be altered, but it appeared she inched closer to becoming the first cabinet minister to be found in contempt of Parliament.

Oda blamed sloppy paperwork for any confusion that resulted from her explanations as to how her office decided to pull funding from an aid agency last year.

Appearing before the procedure and House affairs committee on Friday morning, Oda said she never meant to mislead opposition MPs who have been probing why her office turned down $7 million in funding for Kairos, a church based relief group.

"I take full responsibility for the confusion...and I apologize for that," Oda said Friday.

It has previously been revealed that officials from the Canadian International Development Agency approved $7 million in funding for Kairos, but that decision was overruled by the minister. An internal memo had the word "not" inserted into its text, which reversed the CIDA recommendation.

On Friday, Oda told the committee that her former chief of staff, Stephanie Machel, inserted the word "not" in the document at her direction when the minister was not physically present. Oda's name was signed to the document with a mechanical pen.

"Having a paper record of decisions is critical and it's not always possible for me to personally sign a decision memo," Oda said.

"As a result, my office uses an Autopen to mechanically reproduce my signature when I am unable to personally sign a document."

During a prior committee appearance in December, Oda said she did not know who had inserted the word "not" into the document. On Friday, the minister said she did not find out that Machel had personally made the alteration until after the December committee appearance.

NDP MP Pat Martin repeatedly went after Oda, describing her as the "minister of weasel words" and said it was unlikely the department would deal with the funding decision in such a sloppy way.

"If that's common practice in your department, that's one screwed-up department," Martin said. "She's building a case that she's a lousy minister."

Oda said she understood such a "very clumsy process" could leave the impression that the memo had been doctored.

"At the time, I did not see the confusion that my answer would cause and I apologize for creating confusion," Oda told the commitee.

"My original answers were truthful, accurate and precise but they were not clear . . . At no time would I ever intend to mislead anyone."

However, it did not seem the opposition MPs were buying Oda's claims, and were leaning towards a motion towards contempt. They wondered why she didn't come forward with the explanation three months ago.

"We've had to drag her kicking and screaming to this committee and finally we squeeze out a name of who (altered the document)," Liberal MP John McKay said.

"In my judgment, this is further confirmation of the minister's contempt for Parliament."

Opposition MPs suggested to Oda that she had originally said yes to the Kairos application, but reversed course on the orders of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But Oda said she never discussed the Kairos funding with the prime minister.

Earlier this month, House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken ruled that Oda had breached parliamentary privilege by providing inconsistent testimony on the document issue.

The committee is now considering whether Oda should be found in contempt of Parliament.

Mary Corkery, the executive director of Kairos, was appearing before the committee on Friday afternoon.

With files from The Canadian Press