Volume Eleven 2015 Education and Communities

The number of students enrolled in NSW public schools has increased by over 21,000 during the past five years taking total enrolments in 2014 to 763,698, according to a report released today by the New South Wales Acting Auditor-General, Tony Whitfield.
While growth in student numbers is concentrated in metropolitan Sydney, enrolments in Northern Sydney increased by 20 per cent in the past ten years.
'The Department needs to ensure appropriate strategies are in place to cope with the growth in the student population in Sydney', the Acting Auditor-General said.
This was one of the findings the Acting Auditor-General reported in the Volume Eleven 2015 Report to Parliament, which covered Education and Communities agencies such as the Department of Education, Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, Multicultural NSW and NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Asset disposals will contribute to capital works and maintenance programs

After 2015-16, the Department is expected to rely heavily on asset disposals to fund its capital works and maintenance program. 
The Department faces significant challenges to generate sufficient revenue from asset sales without compromising service delivery in the metropolitan areas, where strong growth in the student population is expected.
'The Department should ensure service delivery in metropolitan areas is not compromised by the disposal of any major assets', said the Acting Auditor-General.
At 30 June 2015, the Department reported school building backlog maintenance to be $732 million. 
The LMBR program over time and over budget

'The Department has failed to consistently meet time, budget and quality requirements for the Learning Management and Business Reform (LMBR) information technology project', the Acting Auditor General said. 'Also, the Department has not demonstrated how the LMBR will achieve its expected benefits', he added.
Significant internal control issues were identified during the audit process due to LMBR activities not always being effectively managed.
The overall cost of LMBR now totals $578 million, $95.0 million more than the original budget of $483 million.  The expected date for full deployment of December 2017 is well beyond the original planned timeframe.
Financial reporting has improved 

The quality of the financial statements continues to improve and unqualified audit opinions were issued for all cluster agencies’ 2014-15 financial statements. 
Further Information

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