Legislative Council: Tuesday, July 05, 2022



In reply to the Hon. F. PANGALLO (17 May 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Education, Training and Skills has advised:

Debt currently owed to TAFE SA by its clients as at 30 April 2022 equates to $14.1 million.

I have been provided with the outstanding debt position for TAFE SA as at 30 April each year for the last three years showing no significant increase in that debt:

Year Debtor Balance
As at 30 April 2020 $14.5 million
As at 30 April 2021 $14.7 million
As at 30 April 2022 $14.1 million

I have also been provided with the ageing of the debt as at 30 April 2022 and 86 per cent (or $12.1 million of the total debt of $14.1 million) has arisen in the current financial year:

Origin of Current Debt Debt Balance Ageing of Debt as at 30 April 2022
Pre 1 July 2020 $0.9 million 6%
1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 $1.1 million 8%
1 July 2021 to Present $12.1 million 86%
TOTAL $14.1 million 100%

Treasurer’s Instruction 5–Debt Recovery and Write Offs requires the chief executive to ensure TAFE SA establishes and implements policies for the management of debt recovery which aim to recover all amounts owing.

Before referral of a student debt to a debt recovery provider, TAFE SA undertakes an internal debt recovery process consisting of reminder letters, texts and telephone calls. These work to ensure student matters are managed compassionately and with due consideration to the individual circumstances of the student.

TAFE SA does not charge penalties for the recovery of moneys from the debtor. However, once the debt is referred to an external collection agency, the debtor is charged a commission-based percentage fee in relation to the debt collected on the account. On average this amounts to $55 per student debtor.

TAFE SA withholds parchments and statements of attainment if there is a remaining debt on a student account until the debt is paid in full.

Due to privacy considerations, TAFE SA is not able to disclose further information regarding individual amounts owed.

TAFE SA will not increase course fees to cover debts.