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Gross waste and mismanagement revealed

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Philip Ruddock MP

Federal Member for Dundas Electorate Parliament House

Shadow Minister for Immigration Tel: (02) 858 1011 Tel: (06) 277 4343

and Ethnic Affairs Fax: (02) 804 6739 Fax: (06) 277 2062



Information provided to the Coalition has revealed gross waste and mismanagement in the, Government's handling of the move to fee recovery in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

It is understood that in mid 1992, the Department of Immigration Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (DILGEA) issued a $5.2 million contract to upgrade the AMEP information system and to incorporate all the requirements cf cost recovery in the redesigned system.

Government regulations require that all technology contracts over the value of $5 million be approved by the Central Acquisitions Council, comprising Ministers for Finance and Administrative Services, amongst others. DILGEA apparently did not seek approval before issuing the contract.

The introduction of cost recovery in the AMEP program, estimated by DILGEA to bring in revenue of $3.6 million, was offered as justification for the expenditure of $5.2 million for the contract.

However, after the finalisation of first term enrolments, DILGEA has had to downgrade their estimated revenue from $3.6 million to between $10,000 and $50,000.

The Government must immediately confirm or deny these allegations and address several other questions.

- Did DILGEA seek approval for the contract;

- If not, will any action be taken against responsible officers;

- How can such a vast discrepancy exist in estimates for revenue from the cost recovery measures introduced for AMEP;

- How can the Department justify this expenditure whilst at the same time make substantial cuts to child care places for women attending English language courses;

This example of gross mismanagement only serves to highlight the urgent need to restructure the entire language service area, an issue the Coalition has been pursuing for some time. COMMOi'4WEALTH


Further information: Philip Ruddock MP, Pager (02) 925 3911 #25589 MICAH