The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s mishandling of a failed computer software program at TAFE has resulted in the waste of $56 million dollars that could have helped lower course fees.
A new report by the NSW Auditor-General has found that $56 million was spent trying to fix a computer system that left thousands of students unable to enrol in TAFE in 2015 and 2016 – roughly $100 for every student enrolled.
The Auditor-General also blamed the computer system for the problems TAFE has experienced in accounting for its revenue. Last year the problems were so bad that the Auditor-General was only able to give a “qualified audit opinion” of TAFE for the 2014-15 financial year.
The most recent report shows that the time of up to 100 staff and millions of dollars was wasted trying to fix the Student and Learning Management system before it was finally junked.
TAFE has contracted another company at a cost $89 million to come up with a new system next year – bringing the total that the Government has spent on software to $145 million.
It is just the latest chapter in the Government’s ongoing destruction of TAFE since 2012:
- 175,000 fewer students enrolled
- 5,600 teaching and administration staff have been sacked
- Courses cut back
- Fees increased
“Because of this botched rollout TAFE teachers have been forced to spend their time scrambling to try and fix a broken enrolment system when they should be teaching valuable skills to young people.
“This is money that could have been spent on lowering course fees to make TAFE more affordable but instead it has been wasted on a botched rollout of a computer software program.
“Last year it cost more than $100 to enrol every student because of this computer system– that is a scandalous waste of money which could have been used to make TAFE more accessible.
“Given this Government’s record on running down TAFE it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that the computer software debacle was just another ruse to set the institution up to fail.”