The decision by the Hodgman Government to withhold all quarterly reports from the audit into TasTAFE does nothing to rebuild the broken trust between management and staff, Tasmanian industry or community, the AEU said today.
“The Liberal Government’s backflip on its commitment to release the first quarter audit recommendations shows a complete lack of transparency by Government towards employees, students and the public,” said Damian Von Samorzewski, AEU TAFE President.
“The audit named by the government as Operation Black has become known as ‘Operation Blackflip’ due to the Government’s actions,” said Mr Von Samorzewski.
The AEU has a signed letter from the Minister, dated 8 August, that states: “I understand that the interim CEO, Mark Sayer, has met with representatives of the Australian Education Union to discuss the audit and to establish processes for sharing the information that will flow from it.” A joint statement issued by TasTAFE and the AEU on the 7th of June confirms that the findings were to be made public.
Furthermore, a TasTAFE Board Communique to staff on the 8 August 2017 clearly indicated “the board supported all moves to make this process as transparent as possible for both the public and TasTAFE staff.”
The Premier’s claim that the report cannot be released until June next year is incorrect. The audit is being completed over four quarters with separate issues being investigated each quarter and a report and accompanying recommendations provided each quarter to TasTAFE and the Government.
“To say that our members are now confused would be an understatement,” said Mr Von Samorzewski.
“Staff anger from the Integrity Commission’s findings were somewhat appeased by the announcement of an external audit, as staff believed their concerns about questionable practices at TasTAFE would finally see the light of day.
“But secrecy at this time serves no one well. The Government is showing an obvious lack of judgement and transparency and this does nothing to instil confidence in its employees, students and Tasmanian Industry.”
Damian Von Samorzewski, AEU TAFE President, 0438 639374.