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House of Representatives

Higher Education Support Amendment (Removal of Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements and National Governance Protocols Requirements and Other Matters) Bill 2008

Explanatory Memorandum

Circulated By Authority of the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations the Honourable Julia Gillard Mp

OUTLINE

The Bill will amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) by repealing section 33-17.

Section 33-17 enables imposition on higher education providers (providers) of the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements (HEWRRs) and the National Governance Protocols (NGPs) as a condition of funding under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS). The HEWRRs and NGPs are detailed in the CGS Guidelines made under HESA.

Section 33-17 provides for a reduction in a provider's CGS grant if the provider is found not to have met the HEWRRs and the NGPs at the compliance date specified in the CGS Guidelines.

Repealing section 33-17 will remove these conditions on CGS funding. The amount of funding will not be affected.

The Bill also makes a range of minor technical amendments which will improve the operation of the HESA. It will:

·
amend sections 19-25 and 19-27 so that the Higher Education Provider Guidelines may list a body to perform quality auditing for certain classes of higher education provider and set the requirements that the body must meet in conducting its audits. It will also provide a new definition for a quality auditing body in Clause 1 of Schedule 1;
·
amend section 22-10 so that an approved provider that no longer meets certain approval criteria may be revoked by the Minister; and
·
amend section 41-10 (1), Item 9A, "Who is eligible", by replacing the content with:
'*Table A providers, *Table B providers that are universities, and bodies corporate that are specified in the Other Grants Guidelines for the purposes of this item.'
This amendment has been made so that existing funding commitments, made to organisations that are not Table A or Table B providers, under the Collaboration and Structural Reform Fund (CASR) can be honoured now that the CASR funds have been transferred to the Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund as at 31 December 2007.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

Nil.


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