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Government invests to improve student loan info

Government invests to improve student loan information

The government is to spend an extra $572,000 over the next four years to improve the information available on the student loan scheme.

The new funding will enable the government to better assess the impacts of the scheme on borrowers and how policy changes might affect them. It responds to recommendations made following a review by the Auditor-General in 2000. The review found there were some shortcomings in the management of information about the Student Loan Scheme.

The Auditor-General has now conducted a follow up review of information on the scheme and has found that there has been real progress in addressing the recommendations in the earlier report.

“The Auditor-General’s review of accountability information on the Student Loan Scheme shows a gratifying improvement in the way that information on the scheme is being managed.

“In particular three findings contained in the latest report illustrate the progress that has been made since 2000: the annual report on the scheme now contains a full set of financial statements, as well as useful statistics and is subject to a full independent audit. It is tabled in the House within the same timeframe as departmental annual reports; a data integration project that merges information from the agencies that manage the scheme has begun to produce more detailed information about the effects of the scheme; and the fragmentation that was identified in the 2000 review of the scheme has now largely faded – the agencies are working together much more closely

“The new funding will be used to help us with our forecasting and it will give us a more precise financial valuation of the scheme,” Steve Maharey said.

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