Education sector corruption inquiry coming to IBAC

By The Mandarin

March 17, 2015

Victorian anti-corruption body IBAC will look into claims of misuse of funds at so-called “banker schools” by state Department Education and Training officials. This follows accusations of irregularities in the treatment of full-paying international students.

Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission will hold public examinations into alleged “serious corruption” at the Education and Training in April. IBAC will investigate claims department officials designated certain state primary and secondary schools as “banker schools”, which would accept grants from the department that were used by DET officers to pay for goods and services, some of which were not for the benefit of the schools concerned.

The preliminary information on the case indicates IBAC will look at if the procured services were ever delivered and to whom, as well as “whether payment was made in the first instance to the invoicing party or elsewhere and what ultimately became of the funds remitted in payment of the banker school invoice.”

The hearings will consider whether there exist any familial or business relationships between those allegedly involved in the affair, and if anyone received benefits such as gifts or payment for assisting in the scheme.

The department’s systems and controls regarding procurement, financial management and auditing of funds will also be examined for adequacy.

The examinations are part of a number of ongoing investigations into alleged serious corruption at the Department of Education and Training. Last week accusations emerged that international students were being marked up at Box Hill Institute TAFE.

Hearings will begin on April 27.

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