Australian Financial Review | 16 September 2013
Former treasurer John Dawkins has queried conflict of interest claims after it emerged he would chair Vocation, a new education company reported to be worth $300 million, due to be listed on the stock exchange later this year.
Dawkins, a treasurer and education minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, chairs the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) and the Australian Qualifications Framework Council.
The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has questioned Dawkins’ involvement in the company, with its CEO Claire Field stating:
It is an unusual set of circumstances where the chair of a government council responsible for setting the standards for providers . . . [has] at the same time been apparently involved in behind-the-scenes discussions about chairing the board of a new, very large $300 million provider.
Dawkins says he has raised his possible involvement in the venture with the members of the NSSC so the council is aware of these developments.
I am writing to the new minister … to advise of this possible development and seeking [their] opinion about the compatibility of such a role with my continued involvement with the NSSC. I will abide by any decision the minister makes.