Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 2580..
MR MULCAHY (continuing):
the release of performance information to RTOs to assist their benchmarking; and
the provision of feedback to RTOs on their performance.
It is well and good to dish out funds for these activities but it is very important also to ensure that there are appropriate performance measures in place. The Auditor-General's report also stated:
DET should revise its performance reporting to ensure that:
strategic indicators include vocational education and training outcomes; and
accountability measures allow for comparisons of performance between the Canberra Institute of Technology and other RTOs under the User Choice program.
These are important considerations and I hope that the education committee will be of a mind to pick these up where the public accounts committee has not done so. I remind members in particular of the surveys conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Whilst Mr Barr put the view in estimates hearings on 22 June that we had the best in the world in terms of student satisfaction, graduate employment outcomes and employer satisfaction, the fact is that it is not clear from the surveys available from the centre how the minister reached this conclusion. In fact, satisfaction with vocational education and training in the ACT is not, to use his term, amongst the best in the country; rather, I would suggest, it is amongst the worst in the country.
The minister's statement is completely at odds with the findings of the Auditor-General's report of September 2006 into vocational education and training, which was based on data in the 2005 report of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. This report found that the ACT had the second-highest cost per hour of curricula after the Northern Territory and also had the lowest level of satisfaction amongst graduates, module completers and employers out of every jurisdiction in Australia. In relation to that report, whilst it is unfortunate that there will be no further inquiry into it, it is very important that some element of this Assembly take up the issue.
In relation to the second inquiry that is not being pursued—that is, the Auditor-General's report entitled Road safety—again, there are some pivotal recommendations that would probably warrant further attention. In particular, the Auditor-General recommended:
The Department of Urban Services should assess the effectiveness of the Road Safety Strategy and Plan.
Recommendation 3 of the report was:
The Department of Urban Services should, as a priority, ensure that important road safety statistics can be produced accurately and promptly.