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VET Student Loans Bill 2016

2016

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

As passed by both Houses

 

 

 

 

VET Student Loans Bill 2016

 

No.      , 2016

 

 

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to provide for loans to students for vocational education and training, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 2

4............ Objects................................................................................................ 2

5............ Simplified outline of this Act.............................................................. 3

6............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 4

Part 2—Loans to students                                                                                                10

Division 1—Secretary may approve loans                                                       10

7............ Secretary may approve loans............................................................. 10

8............ Amount of loan................................................................................. 10

Division 2—Eligible students                                                                                   11

9............ Eligible students................................................................................ 11

10.......... Enrolment and loan application......................................................... 11

11.......... Citizenship and residency.................................................................. 11

12.......... Academic suitability.......................................................................... 12

Division 3—Approved courses                                                                               13

13.......... Approved courses............................................................................. 13

14.......... Kinds of courses............................................................................... 13

15.......... Provision and delivery...................................................................... 13

16.......... The courses and loan caps determination ........................................ 14

Division 4—Applications for loans                                                                       15

17.......... Applications for loans....................................................................... 15

18.......... Decisions about loans....................................................................... 16

Part 3—Paying and repaying loan amounts                                                         18

Division 1—Paying loan amounts                                                                         18

19.......... Loan must be used to pay tuition fees............................................... 18

20.......... When Secretary is not required to pay loan amount.......................... 18

21.......... Notice about payment of loan amount............................................... 19

Division 2—Repaying loan amounts                                                                    20

22.......... When course provider must repay loan amount................................ 20

23.......... When tuition assurance scheme operator may be required to repay loan amount      21

Part 4—Approved course providers                                                                         22

Division 1—Approving course providers                                                         22

24.......... Meaning of approved course provider ............................................. 22

25.......... Secretary may approve a body.......................................................... 22

26.......... Provider suitability requirements....................................................... 23

27.......... Listed course providers may be taken to meet requirements.............. 23

28.......... Application for approval................................................................... 24

29.......... Period of approval............................................................................. 24

30.......... Decisions about approval.................................................................. 24

31.......... Fees for applications......................................................................... 25

32.......... When Secretary is not required to consider application..................... 25

33.......... Period of approval extends to cover decision on re-approval............ 25

Division 2—Conditions of approval                                                                     27

34.......... Secretary may impose conditions...................................................... 27

Division 3—Revoking and suspending approvals                                         28

35.......... Automatic revocation on winding up................................................ 28

36.......... Secretary may revoke or suspend approval....................................... 28

37.......... Immediate suspension in certain circumstances................................. 29

38.......... Secretary must revoke approval on provider request......................... 30

39.......... Secretary to notify relevant VET Regulator if approval is revoked or suspended     30

Division 4—Tuition assurance                                                                                31

40.......... Tuition assurance arrangements........................................................ 31

41.......... Secretary may require tuition assurance scheme operator to act........ 31

42.......... Other requirements for tuition assurance scheme operators.............. 32

Division 4A—External dispute resolution                                                        33

42A....... Minister may specify external dispute resolution scheme.................. 33

42B....... Meaning of approved external dispute resolution scheme ................ 33

42C....... Approved course provider must comply........................................... 33

Division 5—Ensuring compliance                                                                         35

43.......... Compliance notices........................................................................... 35

44.......... Varying and revoking compliance notices......................................... 36

45.......... Compliance audits............................................................................. 36

46.......... Approved course provider must cooperate........................................ 37

Part 5—Other requirements for approved course providers                    38

Division 1—General                                                                                                     38

47.......... Conditions of approval and course provider requirements................ 38

48.......... Provider must have certain processes and procedures....................... 38

49.......... Provider must not use broker or agent.............................................. 39

Division 2—Information                                                                                            40

50.......... Information for students.................................................................... 40

51.......... Retaining information and documents............................................... 40

52.......... Ongoing information requirements................................................... 41

53.......... Secretary may request information.................................................... 42

54.......... Dealing with personal information.................................................... 43

Division 3—Fees                                                                                                             44

55.......... Determining tuition fees.................................................................... 44

56.......... Student not liable for covered fees.................................................... 44

57.......... Publishing tuition fees....................................................................... 45

Division 4—Census days                                                                                            46

58.......... Determining and publishing census days.......................................... 46

59.......... No penalty for cancelling enrolment before census day.................... 46

Division 5—Marketing                                                                                                48

60.......... Misrepresenting VET student loans.................................................. 48

61.......... Offering certain inducements............................................................ 48

62.......... Engaging in cold-calling.................................................................... 48

63.......... Use of third party contact lists........................................................... 49

64.......... Other marketing requirements........................................................... 49

Division 6—Personal liability for executive officers                                   50

65.......... Personal liability for executive officers............................................. 50

66.......... Reasonable steps to prevent offence or contravention....................... 50

Part 6—Re-crediting FEE-HELP balances                                                          52

Division 1—Application of Part                                                                             52

67.......... Application of Part............................................................................ 52

Division 2—Re-crediting by course provider                                                 53

68.......... Special circumstances........................................................................ 53

69.......... Course not provided to completion................................................... 54

70.......... Secretary may act in place of provider............................................... 54

Division 3—Re-crediting by Secretary                                                              55

71.......... When Secretary may re-credit FEE-HELP balance........................... 55

72.......... Student may apply for re-crediting by Secretary............................... 55

73.......... Secretary must invite submissions before re-crediting...................... 56

Part 7—Review of decisions                                                                                           57

Division 1—Reviewable decisions                                                                         57

74.......... Reviewable decisions........................................................................ 57

75.......... When applications are taken to be refused......................................... 58

Division 2—Reconsideration of reviewable decisions                                59

76.......... Application for reconsideration......................................................... 59

77.......... Reconsideration without application.................................................. 60

78.......... Reconsideration by delegates............................................................ 61

79.......... Approved course providers must have review officers..................... 61

80.......... Review by the AAT.......................................................................... 61

Division 3—Reconsideration of other decisions                                            62

81.......... Reconsideration of other decisions.................................................... 62

Part 8—Regulatory powers                                                                                            63

82.......... Monitoring powers........................................................................... 63

83.......... Investigation powers......................................................................... 64

84.......... Civil penalty provisions.................................................................... 64

85.......... Infringement notices.......................................................................... 65

86.......... Enforceable undertakings.................................................................. 66

87.......... Injunctions........................................................................................ 66

88.......... Appointment of investigators............................................................ 67

89.......... Delegation of regulatory powers....................................................... 67

90.......... Other enforcement action.................................................................. 68

Part 9—Use of information                                                                                             69

Division 1—Authorised use and disclosure of information                     69

91.......... Use and disclosure by Commonwealth officers................................ 69

92.......... Use and disclosure by certain VET officers...................................... 69

93.......... Disclosure to certain agencies, bodies or persons............................. 69

94.......... Disclosure for purposes of law enforcement..................................... 70

95.......... Disclosure to other bodies for permitted purposes............................ 70

96.......... Disclosure of publicly available information..................................... 71

97.......... Commissioner may disclose VET information.................................. 71

98.......... This Division does not limit use or disclosure of VET information.. 71

Division 2—Offences for misuse of personal information                       72

99.......... VET officers..................................................................................... 72

100........ Use of personal information for other purposes................................ 72

101........ Unauthorised access to, or modification of, personal information..... 73

Part 10—General provisions                                                                                          75

102........ Communicating electronically........................................................... 75

103........ Secretary may publish information.................................................... 75

103A..... Secretary must publish information relating to operation of the VET student loans program   76

104........ Secretary may require a person to provide information about compliance with this Act           77

105........ Secretary may use computer programs to make decisions................. 77

106........ Giving false or misleading information............................................. 78

107........ Verifying tax file numbers................................................................ 78

108........ Contravening offence and civil penalty provisions............................ 79

109........ Certain references to course provider include references to agent..... 79

110........ Continuing application of Act to certain persons............................... 79

111........ No entitlement to future rights........................................................... 79

112........ Protection from civil actions.............................................................. 80

113........ Compensation for acquisition of property......................................... 80

114........ Delegations....................................................................................... 81

115........ Appropriation.................................................................................... 81

115A..... Alternative constitutional basis.......................................................... 81

116........ Rules................................................................................................. 81

 



A Bill for an Act to provide for loans to students for vocational education and training, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts: