An external audit of TasTAFE has revealed best practice recruitment processes have not been followed on a number of occasions at the public education provider.
The long-awaited external audit also backs up damning allegations revealed in an Integrity Commission report, against former chief executive Stephen Conway.
The independent investigative audit, was tabled in Parliament by Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff on Thursday, after a year of investigation.
The commission’s report, which was also tabled in Parliament a year ago, investigated a “complaint of an alleged conflict of interest against senior executive officers of TasTAFE”.
A complaint was made in February 2016, which alleged Mr Conway “provided favourable treatment” to his friend Lori Hocking, who was, at the time, a senior executive at TasTAFE.
Both Mr Conway and Ms Hocking have since left TasTAFE. Mr Conway has been replaced in the role by Jenny Dodd.
“This investigative audit has noted a number of serious compliance exceptions within the sample selected in relation to compliance with the State Service Act and the employment directions,” the report read.
“The findings from the Integrity Commission are confirmed by this audit and therefore the findings of the report are rated ‘high.’
The report said issues identified in the report were “serious in nature and not confined to any one recruitment process or segment of employees.”
In light of the findings of the Integrity Commission report, The Examiner has been examining the role of TasTAFE and the VET sector in Tasmania in its Pick up the Tools campaign.
The campaign advocates for clear and concise future for the provider and for the sector and to highlight its successes.
PICK UP THE TOOLS RELATED CONTENT
TasTAFE chief executive officer Jenny Dodd said TasTAFE had accepted all recommendations made in the report.
“The audit found that overall TasTAFE had contemporary policies and practices in many of the areas it reviewed,” she said.
“However, it also identified that there was a lack of leadership within TasTAFE in respect to monitoring the adoption of these policies and procedures.”
She said a number of measures had already been put in place to address the recommendations made in the audit report.
Some of those include providing ethics training to all managers and strengthened processes around recruitment and selection.
Mr Rockliff said all measures were expected to by implemented by the end of the year.
“The report highlights the nature of an organisation in transition, and with a new outstanding Chair and CEO, we have strong leadership and governance of TasTAFE. I am confident, that through this, all necessary work to implement report recommendations can be done,” he said.
“I wish to highlight the professionalism of both the auditors and TasTAFE staff throughout the audit process and in promptly moving to implement recommendations.”