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The ACT Department of Education's chief executive, Cheryl Vardon, said all options offered to the student were possible within the guidelines for exceptional cases.
She said Mr Stefaniak had not changed or acted outside of the existing guidelines or intervened in the actual assessment of the student.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. I asked the Minister to explain why he agreed to a highly unusual level of interference in an assessment process. The question is very clear. I just need an answer to that to demonstrate what level of ministerial interference in due process went on here. That should be a matter for public viewing. We need a complete answer to this. Why did he not leave the entire process in the hands of those with responsibility to deal with it? Why did the Minister interfere? Why did he not leave it to the people who have the responsibility?
MR STEFANIAK: I am the Minister for Education, Mr Berry, and there were exceptional circumstances, as you have heard. I note that some members of the Assembly, at least, have taken up the Government's offer of a confidential briefing. None of you people have, and I think that probably says something.
MR BERRY: Of course, this Minister - - -
MR SPEAKER: Is this a supplementary question?
MR BERRY: Indeed, Mr Speaker. Of course, this Minister would have members in this chamber take - - -
Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is the member asking a supplementary question? If that is not his purpose, I suggest that he should sit down and let somebody else ask a question.
MR BERRY: Indeed; he is asking a supplementary question, and this will become clear to you shortly.
MR SPEAKER: He did indicate that this was his supplementary question. I would ask, Mr Berry, that you ask your supplementary question now.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, this Minister should be aware of this document because it is a document from the Board of Senior Secondary Studies and it has in it your rights to appeal. It appears that not one of those processes includes the Minister's phone number. Do you believe, Minister, that it is proper for a Minister to closely involve himself in an assessment process? Let me make it clear for you so that you understand. Do you believe that it is proper for a Minister to closely involve himself in an assessment process? We have to know whether there is an impropriety in the Minister's interference in this process.
MR STEFANIAK: Again, have a look at the second paragraph of what Ms Vardon said, because she stated that I had not changed or acted outside of the existing guidelines or intervened in the actual assessment of the student.