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English: CPIT in disarray

English: CPIT in disarray

Christchurch Polytechnic, which is at the centre of a community education budget blow-out scandal, has failed to produce an annual report since 2001, says National's Education spokesman Bill English.

In a clear breach of the Education Act, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) did not produce an annual report in either 2002 or 2003.

Section 220 of the Act states that every tertiary institution must present an annual report 'as soon as practical after the end of each academic year'.

"This failure to provide any record of their operations or use of public money is an absolute failure of accountability," says Mr English.

"Serious questions have to be asked of Steve Maharey, the Minister of Tertiary Education. The responsibility to ensure public scrutiny and transparency within the sector rests with him." CPIT is accused of orchestrating a funding scam where students are given incentives for enrolling in a free, unchecked computer course that has brought in millions of dollars.

"If they can't get the little things right - like getting their reports filed - why on earth should we continue to fire public money in their direction?

"This failure at the most basic level is a huge embarrassment for a Government struggling to explain it's tertiary education spending priorities," says Mr English.

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