DFEE shares Pounds 117m rebate

November 5, 1999

The Department for Education and Employment will share in a rebate of up to Pounds 117 million previously locked up in training and enterprise councils' reserves, writes Alan Thomson.

The latest figures from the 1998-99 draft statutory accounts show that payments made by government departments to Tecs stand at more than Pounds 244 million. This money, or what remains of it by the time the Tecs are wound up and Pounds 1 million is stripped out for individual learning accounts, must be returned to the departments concerned.

Some Tecs have more than Pounds 30 million of government money sitting in their reserves. Reserves attributable to departments such as the DFEE form the vast bulk of Tecs' total reserves, which stand at more than Pounds 6 million.

Lifelong learning minister Malcolm Wicks said that under the terms of the Tecs' licence any funds derived from payments made by the DFEE, Department for Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions will return to those departments for use on departmental projects.

Tecs were sent formal notices in July that their licences would terminate on March 25 2001. Since then, they have been obliged to tell the government of any proposed commitments or expenditure that might eat into attributable reserves. They must comply with reasonable government requests for them to limit expenditure up to their abolition.

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