Thursday, 7 February 2019
Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Committee Stage (Resumed)
I move amendment No. 69:
In page 36, lines 27 to 30, to delete all words from and including “prior” in line 27 down to and including “programme” in line 30 and substitute “and prescribed at the start of the year and shall be paid in quarterly instalments thereafter”.
I thank the Minister and her officials for meeting us yesterday. It helped me to understand, clarify and discuss some of my concerns. I tabled amendments Nos. 69 and 78 at the request of a wide number of obligated providers who are deeply concerned at the uncertainty and lack of direction from the Department and the authority on how the fund and fee system will work. Amendment No. 69 would provide certainty in terms of how the fee will be paid to the fund by requiring that it would be done at the start of the year and paid in quarterly instalments. We discussed this yesterday and I believe we need to further tease out some of these matters between Committee Stage and Report Stage. Amendment No. 78 would require the Minister to consult with obligated providers before issuing regulations in this area.
These are two simple straightforward requests that would give some confidence to providers in terms of how this Bill will impact on them. I await the Minister of State's response to them and I hope she can consider accepting amendment No. 78 , which is the one I will press, depending on her response.