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Auditor General scolds VIC Dept of Ed for poor record-keeping

Victorian Auditor General Andrew Green, has cited The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) for poor record-keeping in his March 2017 report to Parliament Managing Public Sector Records. He reported that: "insufficient executive support for, and attention to, records management is preventing DET [and the Dept of Health and Human Services] from achieving full compliance with the PROV standards, and thus fully lawful and effective records management."

He criticised the DET for knowing "very little about its entire records holdings."

The review looked at both electronic and paper-based records management. Of 218 records management criteria demanded by the state’s records management office, the audit found DET was fully compliant with 30.

These weaknesses – particularly the absence of system-wide compliance monitoring and reporting and out-dated legislation – heighten the risk of key government records being lost, inaccessible, inappropriately accessed, unlawfully altered or destroyed.

The 2016 Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) investigation of DET discussed weaknesses in the department’s records management systems and processes, including:

  • the ability to falsify records
  • the ability to avoid creating records required under the Act
  • IBAC’s inability to access records necessary to its investigation
  • unlawful removal of records from government systems
  • unlawful destruction of records.

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