Tec fails with liabilities of £5m
Thursday 22 December 1994
The London TEC, covering the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich, called for receivership under the weight of £5m worth of liabilities.
Ministers last night insisted that all the other 73 employer-led TECs in England - they are new-style quangos with private company status - are financially sound. Neverthelss their ability to deliver training for the unemployed will be severely undermined by fresh cuts announced last month.
According to one government source, financial controls at South Thames TEC, which covered an area with some of the highest unemployment rates in the country, were particularly lax. " It was so bad nobody knew where they stood".
James Paice, the employment minister responsible for TECs, said there was no question of fraud. ``It was simple bad managment. They were entirely overstretched.'' One senior source in the TEC movement argued that senior officials at South Thames had emphasised the needs of the people in their area rather than the necessity for financial control.
The organisation had been the subject of three concurrent investigations into its financial managment system. South Thames had found itself unable to supply sufficient financial information to the Government and in October, ministers issued a breach of contract notice. It is understood that less than half of the £5m debt involves taxpayers' money, the rest is owed to contractors.
Mr Paice said the Government had issued a letter legally guaranteeing continued training for the 7,000 students presently on courses and payment for the colleges and other training providers. Harriet Harman, shadow employment secretary, whose Peckham constituency is covered by the TEC, said it was the Government's duty to "pick up the peices".
She said: "The TEC may be a private company, but it is still a public responsibility." She said it would be a great blow to training in south London. It demonstrated the fundamental flaw in "pretending" that Government functions were being hived off to independent private companies when in fact the Govenrment was forced to step in to bail them out. "Their ideology is catching up with them," she said.
Morale among peole looking for training, people on training courses and people providing training is already low and has been made worse by Government cuts in the training budget. Instead of a limited guarantee , Ms Harman called for a pledge that all training courses and contracts would be honoured and that the issue should be referred to the Public Accounts Committee. Ministers should also publish a report into the operation of the organisation by Grant Thornton which has now been appointed as receivers.
The Government should also make clear whether it would now change the financial control systems for all TECs in the wake of the problems at South Thames.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...