FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 246 #.
3 APRIL 2008
STATE AID FRAUD : WHEN WILL COMMONWEALTH AUDITOR GENERAL TAKE
HIS JOB SERIOUSLY ?
Time for the Auditor General to do his Job:
If he does not want to be known as a mere token Auditor General, the plaything of church interests, the Auditor General of the Commonwealth, Ian McPhee, should put in place proper auditing procedures. for an expenditure of the approximately $6 billion in Federal State Aid to Church schools in 2008. He should understand, investigate and put in place proper independent publicly available audit procedures and reports available to all citizens, not just the coterie on the inside of the State Aid joke.
DOGS note that they have not contacted the Auditor General for approximately three years on this matter. Nor, when they did so were they satisfied with his response . He wrote:
The matters you have raised are primarily matters for consideration by Government and the Department of Education, Science and Training.' ( 16 May 2005)
DOGS responded that we would not have contacted him :
if we had been satisfied with the performance of the Department of Education Science and Training or the Federal Government in the first place.
We consider that your response...is akin to telling us that it is OK for the fox to watch over the chickens.( 7 June 2005).
Recent Examples of Fraud
Has the cancer in the Body politic eroded public accountability to the point that the Auditor General will ignore the latest evidence of blatant fraud in the State Aid saga?
What is he going to learn from and do about
The Lakeside Christian School Case
Anna Patty, the Education Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald 29 March 2008 wrote an article entitled:
Funding Alarm over Schools $2 million Fraud. DOGS quote:
A private school principal was sacked for defrauding $2 million government funding....( Lyn Mazey), the sacked college principal says he is not alone in rorting the controversial Commonwealth funding scheme. 'It does go on quite a lot', he told the Herald.
Mr. Mazey, 58, was dismissed as the (Lakeside Christian College) principal last December after he falsified the school's enrolments, claiming twice as many students to gain a greater share of government funding. He admitted to 'overstating' enrolments for at least three years in a row and said the Federal Government had not audited his school since it opened.
'In the 16 years I was there, we never got audited. There needs to be a regular auditing process.
He said other principals had told him they had also fudged school data reported to the federal Education Department.
In the Gold Coast News website on March 29, 2008, Mr Mazey was reported as saying that 'others at the school were aware of the process'.
It should be noted that Mr Mazey was not 'sprung' by either the federal politicians, federal education bureaucrats, or the auditor-general.
Please note Mr Mazey's statement that other schools fudge the figures. Perhaps taxpayers should be asking the Auditor General to discover which church schools are NOT fudging the figures, so that we can assess their level of honesty when left to their own devices and the temptation of public money.
DOGS also remind readers of the 2007 W.A. Muslim school case.
W.A. Muslim School Case
DOGS refer to a news item on the website news.com.au reported on 8 and 10 December 2007 .
A Muslim school in Kenwick has been raided by police and shut down by WA Education Minister Mark McGowan. The school's head faces a stealing charge...
The school's acting director, Zubair Sayed, appeared in East Perth magistrates Court on Saturday charged with stealing.
The court was told the charge related to an alleged theft offence - of $355,934 - in April, when Mr Sayed, of Sarah Close, Canning Vale, was a company director of Muslim Links Australia Ltd.
It is alleged the school was overclaiming for state and federal government funds for students. Police prosecutor Sgt Scott McCormick told the court that detectives had discovered the money had been sent to Pakistan. ...The court was told that Mr Sayed wrote a Commonwealth Bank cheque for money from the Commonwealth Government ...
State Education Minister Mark McGowan said that the school was not being closed because it was a Muslim schoo, but because the principal was in Afghanistan for most of the year.
Creation of Opportunities for Funding Rorts
Mr Mazey is right about one thing. There should be proper auditing procedures.
DOGS have been exposing funding rorts and scandals for forty years. The major churches initiated perfectly legal bottom of the school yard schemes with impunity in the 1970s. A culture of funding rorts was set up under the Schools Commission with the Needs becoming a Greeds policy. This culture has not only been approved. It has been rewarded.
Four years ago, in 2004, DOGS contacted the Auditor General, a Mr Patrick Joseph Barrett, and then in 2005 we contacted Mr. Ian McPhee.
The passing the buck down the line evident in the above mentioned 2005 response to the DOGS correspondence has further encouraged systematic fraudulent activities.
The politicians and education bureaucrats are not up to their task of representations of citizens and responsibility for expenditure of taxpayer's money.
Failure Evident in Senate Committee Enquiry 22 August 2000.
The following quote from the transcript of this enquiry is evidence of the abdication of political responsibility to the taxpayers of this country. through their refusal to follow any proper auditing procedures. ( to be fair to Senator Allison, she was trying to do something about it )
Interchange at Senate Hearing Tuesday 22 August 2000:
Senator Allison: Does this process need to be ticked off by the Commonwealth Government? What are your reporting requirements in terms of the rationale and the actual dollars?
Mrs Temby (Member, National Catholic Education Commission): It is available for the Commonwealth if they wish to have it. In recent times, they have not asked for the detail.
Matters for Roman Catholics Only
The Lakeside Christian School and Perth Muslim School case are small fry, easily dealt with. But what about the recipients of big billions who have worked the system since 1964 . They feel free to bully any politicians who are not already grovelling?
An attitude has developed amongst the recipients of State Aid, together with their political bagpersons that they are free to tell the Australian public that public funding of their church enterprises - amounting to billions and billions of dollars of taxpayer's money - is none of their business.
Kelly Bourke and Gerard Noonan, in an article 'So That's How Catholics Do it ,' Sydney Morning Herald March 3, 2004 said that
Nelson's office has told the Herald it has no intention of publicly revealing the individual SES scores for individual Catholic schools. That is a matter for the Catholics. Nelson's spokesman said:
Canavan ( the Executive Director of the Sydney Catholic Education Office ) rules out the public access to Catholic SES scores altogether. ' It's a government derived formula and it's not been part of policy to declare to the community how the government ranks a community' he says. 'I don' t think that would be helpful, particularly for those areas with lower scores.'
Bourke and Noonan commented:
The way the NCEC arrived at the present deal with Canberra is a replica of its successful efforts four years ago to get a special deal for the giant Catholic school system. No public summits, no fuss, and specially no scrutiny.'
Public Shut Out
DOGS note the closed private school funding enquiry commenced in 2006. The scandalous results of this enquiry recently fell off the back of a truck. It was revealed that wealthy church schools had been overpaid more than $2 billion under the SES formula. DOGS refer to our Press Release 163, Closed Private School Funding Federal Inquiry at www.adogs.info/pr163.htm. Julie Bishop's handling of this enquiry revealed the attitude of politicians to join with the church school interest in treating taxpayer/citizens like mushrooms. The federal government left it up to the independent school representatives to tell the Sydney Morning Herald
'It ( the federal government) has decided against opening a Pandora's box of criticism from public education advocates.'
Does the Auditor - General take his Job Seriously?
It is time that the Auditor General laid down rules as to auditing of church school funding. It is totally unsatisfactory for Australian citizens and taxpayers to put up with the current situation. We need a truly independent person to go into and clean out the Augean stables created by forty years of entanglement of the Church in the State Treasury and Bureaucracies.
Is it OK that a church school principal goes 16 years
without audit? Is it OK to only pick on the small sectarian schools?
'long standing and rigorous financial accountability mechanism in place to safeguard both the taxpayer funds and the educational outcomes for their children.'
Which establishment does the Auditor General network with?
DOGS are wondering whether Ian McPhee is part of the sick accountability joke?
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|Last modified:Thursday, 03 April 2008|