Statement on Accounting of Fixed School Assets

Statement from the Department of Education and Training Secretary Gill Callister in relation to the acting Auditor General’s qualified audit opinion on the State’s and DET's accounts relating to the accounting of fixed school assets.

Schools are a vital and integral part of our community. Victoria has more than 1500 government school with buildings and land worth more than $16.6 billion – which is 22 percent of the State’s asset base. That is why it is essential that the Department’s record keeping is robust and reliable.

To ensure this is the case in future, I have already met with the acting Auditor General to start working on the changes the Department needs to make. While the Department has done considerable work to improve its processes and record keeping, we need to do more.

The acting Auditor General and I agree this is critically important work. The Department has already begun implementing an improved asset management system and we will work closely with the Auditor General’s office in delivering the necessary improvements.

This will support the extensive work that is underway to strengthen the Department's governance and leadership, and to ensure a culture of high standards and integrity in all that we do.

The acting Auditor General’s decision to issue this qualification relates to concerns with the Department of Education and Training’s record keeping of fixed school assets. This is unrelated to concerns raised by the Auditor-General in the 2013/14 financial year about how the Department valued its assets. The Department has since aligned its valuation approach with the Auditor-General’s.