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The Education and Training Portfolio is responsible for assisting the Australian Government to take a national leadership role in education at all stages, including: early childhood, school, tertiary and international; and the policy development that supports this role.
The Education and Training portfolio is responsible for assisting the Australian Government to take a national leadership role in education, including early childhood, school, tertiary, skills training, and international; and for the policy development that supports this role.
This audit would examine the Department of Education and Training’s administration of its grant programs. Specifically, the audit would assess the extent to which the department has incorporated key lessons from implementing the Early Years Quality Fund into the design and implementation of its grant programs administration. It would also examine the cost of administering grants rounds.
ANAO Audit Report No. 23 of 2014–15, Administration of the Early Years Quality Fund, recommended a range of actions that the department should take to improve the equity, transparency and accountability of future grant programs. In its Report 454, Early Years Quality Fund, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) reinforced the obligation to manage all aspects of grant processes in accordance with approved program guidelines and the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines. The JCPAA also considered that there would be merit in the ANAO conducting follow-up audits of the effectiveness of the department’s grants administration.
This audit would assess the extent to which the Department of Education and Training has incorporated the lessons from the design and administration of the VET FEE-HELP scheme in the development of the VET Student Loans program.
VET FEE-HELP was a loan scheme established by the Australian Government in 2008 to assist eligible students enrolled in vocational education and training courses to pay tuition fees. The scheme was replaced by the VET Student Loans program, which commenced on 1 January 2017. ANAO Audit Report No. 31 of 2016–17, Administration of the VET FEE-HELP Scheme, made no formal recommendations, but outlined a number of key learnings. These included the importance of integrating risk management principles and processes, developing robust key performance indicators and establishing strong data analytics capability and management reporting processes.
This audit would examine the Department of Education and Training’s administration of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability in the context of the effectiveness of data collection systems, cost of implementation, performance against targets, interaction with other disability programs and/or management of risk.
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability is a joint initiative of all Australian governments and all state and territory government and non-government education authorities. The initiative commenced in 2009, with the aim of identifying the number of school students with disability and the level of reasonable educational adjustment provided to them. The data is intended to inform decisions about Commonwealth funding for students with disability. The first report, including 2015 data from all schools and published in December 2016, showed 468 265 students required funding for reasonable adjustment due to disability.
This audit would examine the Department of Education and Training’s design and administration of the Trade Support Loans program.
The Trade Support Loans program was established in 2014 to reduce skills shortages in priority trades. The Government allocated $1 billion for the period from 2015–16 to 2019–20 to provide financial support to apprentices while they undertake training. Eligible apprentices can apply for Trade Support Loans of up to $20 000 over four years. Loans are repayable once the borrower’s income reaches a specified threshold ($55 874 in 2017–18).
This audit would examine the Department of Human Services’ management and delivery of programs, services and payments on behalf of other Australian Government entities, as well as the department’s performance against its respective obligations and service standards.
Human Services provides a range of programs, services and payments for, and on behalf of, a number of Australian Government entities, such as income support payments for the Department of Social Services, and aged care payments and the maintenance of various health-related registers for the Department of Health. Arrangements for these services and payments are outlined in various memorandums of understanding and business partnership agreements. In the 2017–18 Budget, Human Services estimated that it would process around $175 billion in payments on behalf of other government entities.
The proposed audit would provide assurance that business agreements support Human Services in meeting the expectations of entities on behalf of whom it delivers payments; and that roles, responsibilities and performance reporting arrangements are clearly defined.