Education fraud reported
Queensland Education staff were embroiled in more than 100 cases of fraud last year, new documents show.
Right to Information requests have revealed 116 cases of fraud and theft by Department of Education staff in Queensland in 2018.
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace has downplayed the number, saying they related to a “small number of employees”.
“There were around 90,000 people employed in the Department of Education during 2018,” she said.
“The overwhelming majority of these employees were honest and trustworthy in their use of departmental resources.
“However, there was a very small number of employees who were found to be engaging in dishonest behaviour.
“I am confident that the department acted swiftly and effectively to respond to allegations of dishonest behaviour and, where an allegation was substantiated, took the appropriate action.”
The education department said cases were referred to police when necessary.
“The department has a fraud and corruption control framework, which consists of a suite of tools and resources including policy statements, supporting procedures, and preventative training modules,” a spokesperson said.
“In addition, the department has appropriate internal governance bodies including the audit and risk management committee and the fraud and corruption control committee, which sets the overall agenda for mitigating the risk of fraud and corruption within the department.”
Opposition education spokesperson Jarrod Bleijie said it is alarming.
“It's extraordinary numbers and it's deeply concerning,” he said.
“I think it shines a massive light on the Education Department.
“These are not just allegations, these are substantiated matters in one year — so there's a huge issue which could mean this might be more systemic rather than just isolated incidents.”