Audit of Aurukun school partnership arrangement

Report 11: 2016–17

In November 2009, the Queensland Government endorsed a partnership model to address the education needs of Indigenous children in Cape York communities.

In this audit, we assessed the adequacy of governance, enrolments, expenditure, and recruitment for this partnership arrangement. Consequently, while it focuses on Aurukun State School, in some cases this arrangement extended to both Hope Vale and Coen State Schools. Where appropriate, we have included them in our analysis.

This audit relates to our financial audit of the Department of Education and Training, and consequently does not assess the method of teaching delivered at the three schools, or outcomes.

Recommendations

We recommend that the Department of Education and Training (DET):

1. implements binding agreements for any arrangements with external education providers before providing funds. These arrangements should include terms and conditions such as:

  • the objectives to be delivered and principles that guide the arrangement
  • a governance framework, which identifies clear lines of accountability, roles and responsibilities, and deliverables or activies requried by both parties
  • reliable measures to assess whether key objectives have been met
  • the financial treatment of the arrangement (grant or fee-for-service)
  • detailed funding arrangements including annual approved budgets
  • the level of supporting documentation to be provided for acquittal
  • intellectual property and confidentiality arrangements
  • stage gates tied to funding where partners need to perform initial work before the costs or activities for subsequent work can be determined
  • quality assurance mechanisms
  • variations and dispute resolution.

2. provides adequate training and supervision to its staff when it enters into an arrangement with other education providers to ensure governance arrangements, internal controls, and policies and procedures are correctly implemented for:

  • student enrolments and attendance
  • the secure maintenance of student records
  • payments for goods and services.

3. reviews its governance arrangements to improve timely implementation of internal audit recommendations.

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