An internal audit of TasTAFE’s Great Chefs Series has been recommended after an external audit revealed it cost the public education provider more than $30,000 in the past two years.
The audit examined transactions related to the Great Chefs Series from between July 2015-2017.
It showed 40 transactions had been made during that time, to total more than $30,000.
The Great Chefs Series has run over the past three years and combines Certificate III cookery, hospitality and tourism/event students teaming up with state, national and international guest chefs.
The visiting chef and students prepared and hosted a luxurious dinners for the public held over the year, with events held in Launceston and Hobart.
“There does not appear to have been a robust project management approach applied to the series with a number of issues identified within the audit, relating to the costs incurred,” the report read.
Auditors said there were significant costs relating to “significant entertainment expenses incurred to the visiting chefs”, which did not have approval in advance.
The audit also noted a lack of documentation on the invoices received to identify the nature of the expenses.
TasTAFE chief executive Jenny Dodd said a forensic audit of the series was conducted last year, separate to the audit report conducted by WLF.
“The issues identified in both of these audits have been addressed by TasTAFE and it has already taken action around tightening processes and procedures in relation to credit card use, travel and entertainment,” she said.
“The third year of the Great Chefs Series is a collaboration led by Josef Chromy Wines and Tourism Northern Tasmania. TasTAFE is no longer running the series.”
The 2018 Great Chefs Series has not gotten off to a good start, with the first event had to be cancelled after visiting chef Analise Gregory pulling out for personal reasons.
Drysdale is assisting in its vocational education and training provider role to connect students with the series.
“TasTAFE Drysdale is assisting, in its vocational education and training provider role, to maximise the access that our cookery apprentices and students have to the skills and expertise of chefs visiting Tasmania as a unique learning experience,” Ms Dodd said.
In addition, Ms Dodd said there had been a tightening of control with regards to company credit cards and travel and entertainment expenses.
The number of staff with credit cards has been reduced.
“We are putting in place alternate purchasing arrangements so that most items can be purchased without using credit cards and we have already implemented an online reconciliation system.”