TAFE NSW forced to write down LMBR assets by $12.7m

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TAFE NSW forced to write down LMBR assets by $12.7m

Financial systems still not working properly.

TAFE NSW is still struggling to remediate issues with the $40.2 million student administration system that caused new students major headaches in the lead-up to term one at the beginning of this year.

TAFE’s student administration and learning management (SALM) system went live in October 2014 under the umbrella of the NSW government's troubled learning management and business reform (LMBR) systems replacement.

However, a rocky implementation and underperforming software saw the government-owned vocational education provider fail to properly enrol students and reconcile their course fees until weeks into the school semester.

In a report to the state parliament today, NSW auditor-general Tony Whitfield revealed the system flaws have since forced TAFE NSW to write down the value of the SALM asset by $12.7 million.

He also warned that the software still isn’t fully fixed.

“Further work is required to address data quality, system issues, and business processes both centrally and at institutes,” the audit report stated.

“TAFE NSW has commenced a program of work to address these matters."

Applications for TAFE courses starting in 2016 close on January 29 next year, with term one beginning February 1.

Throughout 2015, the SALM system failure meant TAFE was not able to deliver the financial records to corroborate claimed student revenue of $477 million, student receivables and accrued incomes of $47.6 million, and unearned revenue of $398 million, according to the auditor.

In 2014-15, TAFE tried a number of strategies to remediate the SALM shortfalls, including a detailed review of what was affecting the quality of revenue data and the subsequent development of an interim revenue recognition solution.

However, the efforts were not enough to fully verify the organisation’s accounts.

It meant the auditor-general has not been able to give TAFE NSW the tick of approval, issuing a qualified audit opinion for the financial year’s books.

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