Vic schools suspend staff travel



The Victorian education department has put a freeze on international travel by school staff following damning revelations of fraud and fake invoicing at a corruption inquiry.

The department’s acting secretary Kym Peake has told principals and school managers that publicly funded international and interstate travel will be restricted while it reviews its travel policy.

The department’s sacked finance manager Nino Napoli this week told the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission he created a fake paper trial to hide the money he had stolen from schools, including money spent on overseas trips.

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Mr Napoli’s brother-in-law, Ralph Barba, has admitted that in 2009 he inflated an invoice to the education department by $9000 to cover the cost of an overseas trip taken by Jeff Rosewarne’s wife.

Mr Rosewarne was the department’s deputy secretary at the time.

“The public expects strong financial controls for the use of public education funding,” a department spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

“The IBAC hearings identified inappropriate and excessive travel by some former executives, school staff, and in some cases, their spouses.”

All international and interstate travel by principals and other school staff must now be approved by the department’s secretary Gill Callister.

The new restrictions do not affect schools trips taken with students.

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