Naming and Shaming, Risk Assessment and Contract management
August 20, 2015 Leave a comment
So as we have seen throughout the media over the past week a number of RTOs have been allegedly caught with their fingers in the honey pot so to speak, with a number shut down, Victorian training contracts removed from others and yet others (publicly listed) with class action claims launched against them. While I support all of this and think that it is good to see that those providers who are not playing by the rules, or in some cases it seems even playing the same game as the rest of us are being called to account, as I have said previously
It should never have come to this!
Now I know that there will be people out there (yes Senator Lee Rhiannon I am looking at you and others) who will no doubt claim that this is all because funding was taken away from TAFE and non-public providers were allowed into the sector etc. However that is simply rubbish! What caused this was not competition, it was not opening up the market place, it was a complete and utter failure of a number of state and federal governments to actually manage the funding contracts they had with providers properly.
Others will of course try to blame the regulator ASQA or its Victorian or WA equivalent, but again I am going to call rubbish! Now it is true that the regulators may have some burden to bear in this, perhaps their risk management or auditing regimes could have been better, but lets not forget something here. It is not ASQA who chooses who gets to deliver government-funded training, it is the various state governments. They contract providers to deliver, they pay the money and they are the ones that are responsible for managing the entire process and making sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting that the providers themselves are not responsible, should not be called to account and are not the reason this has happened. If all providers did the right thing then there wouldn’t be this situation either. That being said, particularly it seems if we look at Victoria, there has been a catastrophic failure on the part of the government departments to properly manage these contracts. There shouldn’t be discussions about improving outcomes, transparency and accountability now, that should have all been done even before the contracts were ever handed out in the first place. Did the department in Victoria not have any kind of robust monitoring and contract management processes around this, did they not look at the outcomes reports and various bits of data?
Sure it is good that this is getting cleaned up. It is good that providers who have had their contracts removed are being punished, but maybe, just maybe the government could also think about naming and shaming the people who were in charge of the management of these contracts as well or at the very least actually making sure they are doing the jobs they are being paid to do.
Anyway that is just my opinion.