Volume Twelve 2015 - Trade and Investment, TAFE and Water

15 December 2015

Serious system limitations prevented TAFE NSW from providing sufficient and appropriate evidence to support recorded student revenue of $477 million, student receivables and accrued income of $47.6 million and unearned revenue of $398 million, according to a report released today by the New South Wales Acting Auditor-General, Tony Whitfield.

These limitations resulted in:

  • a qualified audit opinion being issued for TAFE NSW
  • delays in enrolling students
  • inability to fully reconcile cash balances
  • difficulties in reconciling student enrolments with revenues recorded in the financial statements
  • large volumes of manual processing.

“TAFE NSW should identify and resolve significant issues with its student and administration system,” the Acting Auditor-General said.

The system was delivered to TAFE NSW during October 2014 as part of the Government’s LMBR program.

This was one of the findings the Acting Auditor-General reported in Volume Twelve 2015 of the Auditor-General's Report to Parliament, which covers agencies within the then Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS) cluster. From 1 July 2015, DTIRIS was abolished and the Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development was created.

The quality of financial reporting has improved

In 2014 15 five agencies had six significant matters reported to the relevant Minister and Treasurer. This is a significant improvement from 13 agencies with 24 significant matters last year.

Agencies can still improve their revaluations

A number of agencies were unable to finalise their revaluations of property, plant and equipment by the early close deadline. Revaluation results were not always robustly reviewed by management prior to their inclusion in the financial statements.

Due to the nature of the fixed assets within the cluster, revaluations can require extensive timeframes for planning and completion.

“Management should ensure that revaluation results are appropriate before accepting the results and including them in the financial statements,” said Mr Whitfield.

Unprocessed Aboriginal Land Claims rose by 2,330 or nine per cent

The number of unprocessed Aboriginal Land Claims at 30 June 2015 was 28,054 (25,724 at 30 June 2014). Based on the five year average clearance rate, it will take approximately 80 years to clear the existing backlog, not accounting for any future claims.

Water utilities distributed $1.0 billion to the NSW Government in 2014-15

The distributions to the NSW Government increased from $690 million in 2013-14 to $1.0 billion in 2014-15. The increase was largely due to a higher dividend from Sydney Water Corporation.

Key observations - Trade and Investment and TAFE

Key observations - Water Utilities

Further Information

For further information, please refer to Part One: Trade and Investment and Part Two: Water of the report.

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.

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