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Public Accounts Committee Report:Renewing the physical infrastructure of English further education colleges

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29 July 2009

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reports "In 2001, the newly established Learning and Skills Council took over a programme of capital works in the further education sector. The programme was needed to renew an estate that was too large, with much of it in poor condition and no longer fit for modern educational purposes. By March 2008, a total of £4.2 billion of projects had been approved 'in detail', including grant support from the Council of £1.7 billion, and about half of the estate had been renewed. Since April 2008 there has been a very serious failure in the management of the programme, with the Learning and Skills Council failing to introduce measures to prioritise projects and control the total cost of the programme. It approved 'in principle' 79 colleges' projects, which required nearly £2.7 billion of Council funding more than it could afford. Following an independent review, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Council have applied needs-based criteria to inform decisions on taking the programme forward". UCU comment http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=4110 House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee report 'Spend, spend, spend? – The mismanagement of the Learning and Skills Council’s capital programme in further education colleges' published 17 July 2009 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmdius/530/530.pdf Approved capital projects must cut costs by £50m. http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6019071 31 July 09 To view the Public Accounts Committee report click 'more'

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