Charity claims 'fraud'

March 14, 1997

The Public Accounts Committee's report on financial control of vocational training has skimmed the surface of a "multi-billion pound vocational education and training fraud", claims education human rights charity Article 26.

Charles Bell, spokesman for Article 26, has estimated that up to Pounds 5 billion is at stake in an education scandal involving the whole "Quangocracy controlled by the Department for Education and Employment".

By focusing only on NVQs offered through DFEE and TEC-funded Youth Training and Training for Work, the report has ignored the fact that vocational training is also provided through further and higher education which is subject to the same risk of fraud or invalidity, Article 26 argues.

"The report only concerns a minor fraction of all those public funds at risk," said Mr Bell. "The basic problem is lax assessment procedures. Output-related funding encourages people to look for loopholes but it wouldn't be such a massive problem if you couldn't fiddle the results.

"The only answer is wholly independent assessors who have no interest whatsoever in whether a candidate passes or fails."

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