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Thursday, 10 May 2007
Page: 171

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Education, Science and Training, in writing, on 22 March 2007:

(1)   Does the Australian Government Programmes for Schools Quadrennial Administrative Guidelines state that ‘If a State does not fulfil a condition of a grant, the Minister may determine that funds be repaid and may recover funds, reduce future payments or delay any further payments’; if not, why not.

(2)   Has she ever (a) made a determination that funds be repaid, (b) recovered funds, (c) reduced future payments or (d) delayed any further payments as a result of non-compliance with a condition of a grant; if so, what are the full details of (i) the non-compliance, (ii) the amount of the grant involved, (iii) the school involved and (iv) the federal electoral division in which the school is located.

Ms Julie Bishop (Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. This is a funding condition of the Schools Assistance (Learning Together - Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004 (the Act), and a condition of funding agreements for schools programmes funded under the Act. Australian Government Programmes for Schools Quadrennial Administrative Guidelines 2005-2008 Part 1, paragraph 18, Meeting the conditions of the agreement: 18. Part 2 of the Schools Assistance Act 2004 prescribes the general conditions on which financial assistance is to be paid to a State in respect of government and non-government schools. Under the Act, payments to education authorities and other grantees cannot be authorised until they have signed an agreement with the Commonwealth. This agreement lists the conditions with which the State or education authority must comply in order to receive funding. In brief, these conditions refer to the following matters: - empowering the Minister, if an authority does not fulfil a condition, to seek repayment of an amount or reduce other amounts payable to the authority or delay making any further payment to the authority; (excerpt)

(2)   No.