Department of Education CEO Keith Bartley today indicated that 70 schools had been implicated in the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal.
In evidence to the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance committee Mr Bartley confirmed some officers have been paying up to three times the normal rate for printer cartridges in exchange for gifts and benefits. Mr Bartley said that 70 schools have been identified in the period from July 2009 and he would need to check whether there were any examples of abuse prior to July 2009.
Mr Bartley confirmed one case had been referred to SAPOL and a number of other cases, relating to 30-40 schools, were still being investigated by internal audit or internal investigation teams in the Department.
In other evidence to the Committee Mr Bartley confirmed:
• Total budget savings imposed on the Department were about $265 million over 4 years, peaking at $86 million in 2014-15
• The Responsible Gambling Program in the Department has been abolished
• There have been significant cuts to the Drug Education in Schools program
• No decision has yet been taken as to whether schools would be compensated for the expected 10% or more increase in electricity costs due to the carbon tax.
• There were significant additional annual costs to taxpayers for the super schools over and above the approximately $27 million per year paid to the Private Public Partnership (PPP) consortium.
• The latest estimate for backlog maintenance in schools was $152.5 million
• Total full-time equivalent (FTE) staff reductions in 2011-12 was 124 and 140 FTE staff cuts were budgeted for 2012-13