Capita not ruled out of running ILA successor

Minister for lifelong learning John Healey this week refused to rule out awarding the contract for the successor to the...

Minister for lifelong learning John Healey this week refused to rule out awarding the contract for the successor to the Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme to Capita, despite concerns about the way it managed the original programme.

Healey told the Commons Committee on Education and Skills that he was not happy with the quality of service provided by Capita, which had a £5m IT and business services contract with the Government.

"There were shortcomings about the security of the ILA systems in the specifications [and] in the provision and management of security," he said.

"One option we have is to continue with Capita. That is not the only option. We are also looking at working with the Learning Skills Council. It would be a mistake to rule out Capita," Healey said.

Complaints about the scheme rose dramatically from July 2001 reaching 18,000 by January 2002. The Government had no choice but to close it down after evidence of fraud came to light.

The Department for Education & Skills has withheld payment from 5,500 providers while it investigates.

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