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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3455 ..

Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 4 of 1995

MR WOOD (12.31): Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 20 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 4, 1995 - Government Secondary Colleges". I move:

That the report be noted.

This performance audit reviewed the efficiency of ACT secondary colleges and examined class sizes, teaching loads, curriculum development, management of the cost and numbers of teachers through the staffing formula points system, and the use of college infrastructure. The overall audit conclusion was that secondary college education could be delivered significantly more efficiently, and that longstanding and entrenched practices institutionalised when education was under Commonwealth control have been reflected in areas such as face-to-face teaching, the range of classes and class sizes, non-teaching activities, student-teacher ratios and mix of teaching resources and so on.

The audit report was criticised by certain college boards and the Education Union, and the committee gave consideration to those criticisms as well as offering the Auditor-General the opportunity to respond to them. The committee also sought comment from the Minister on the audit findings. The criticisms, the Auditor's response and the Minister's comments are spelt out in the committee's report.

Mr Speaker, members of the committee realise, of course, that there is much more to be examined in education than those matters of a financial nature reflected in the report. Nevertheless, a number of the matters identified by the audit are or have been subject to negotiations between the Government and the Education Union in the context of the teaching enterprise agreement. The committee has made certain recommendations intended to establish an effective college system.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on the Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation, I present Report No. 15 of 1996. The report relates to the committee's comments on two Bills - the Electoral (Application) Bill 1996 and the Stamp Duties and Taxes (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1996.

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