Procedures for paying providers of National Vocational Qualifications and other training programmes are vulnerable to fraud, says the National Audit Office.
A report published this week by NAO recognised improvements in financial control by the Department for Education and Employment and Training and Enterprise Councils, but said they should still tighten their procedures to prevent premature or fraudulent claims.
Legal proceedings are under way in County Durham and under consideration in Cumbria. The report estimates that in 1994/95, the DFEE overpaid TECs Pounds 9.4 million against Pounds 6.7 million in 1993/94. Government expenditure on training programmes was Pounds 1.34 billion in 1994/95 and an estimated Pounds 1.25 billion in 1995/96.