Getting FASEA to comment on anything is mighty difficult when they don’t have a phone number or an address.
Anyone who has tried to get in touch with FASEA will share my frustration. Under the ‘Contact Us’ link of FASEA’s website, visitors are greeted with one of those terrible online forms to fill in. Like booking a hotel: name, phone, email, message. Finally, you need to tick ‘I’m not a robot’ – the irony of which is not lost on me.
Searching everywhere for a phone number, an office address, any sign of life at all is a futile exercise.
I filled out the form, leaving the following message before confirming I am not a robot:
I’m looking for confirmation and a few additional figures following the release of FASEA’s annual report. The annual report for 2017-2018 states that FASEA receives $3.9 million in annual funding under a contract that expires in 2021. I understand most of this funding is from the major banks and AMP. Could I please get a breakdown of where this funding comes from for my records?
I have it on good authority that FASEA receives almost $4 million a year from the big four banks and AMP. FASEA did not respond to my request for confirmation of this. They haven’t explained where the $4 million comes from. Which is not surprising. They don’t have a telephone number or office address. Do they actually exist?
I hope they have the internet and my messages aren’t being sent into a black hole. I fear they might be. Next time I'll include a message that I wish to give them money and see if they hit me back. Usually works.
Luckily, I’m not the only one befuddled by this completely inaccessible organisation.
In a 25 October letter to opposition leader Tanya Plibersek, financial advisers Philippa Hunt, Pamela Anderson and Halle Yilmaz wrote that FASEA’s evolution has been “extraordinarily frustrating” for stakeholders.
“The FASEA board was established in early April 2017. FASEA’s inaugural CEO joined six months later, but resigned in March 2018,” they said.
“Board member and Griffith University academic Dr Mark Brimble (one of the largest providers of commercial education product in the marketplace that FASEA intends to standardise) has been acting as CEO ever since.
“We still await the appointment of an independent new CEO, who was meant to start in August but to our knowledge has still not started. FASEA has no telephone number or physical address listed with Telstra.”
Given that the faceless FASEA is receiving close to $4 million a year, presumably from the big banks and AMP as a means of controlling the advice industry under the guise of ‘education’, they should shell out a few bob for a phone.
Then I could call them and find out exactly what they do and who pays them. Until then, I'll keep filling out the online form and confirming I'm still not a robot.
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