§ Mr. Wicks
The Learning and Skills Bill has received its Second reading in the Commons, thereby indicating Parliamentary support for the principle of the Bill. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will shortly start the recruitment process for the Chair and Chief Inspector of the proposed Adult Learning Inspectorate. The successful candidates will not formally be appointed to these positions until after the Bill has received Royal Assent.
Parliamentary approval for expenditure on the Adult Learning Inspectorate will be sought in the Summer Supplementary Estimate for the Department for Education and Employment Vote (Class 1 Vote 1). Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £285,000 will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
This expenditure is required to meet the cost of recruiting the Chair and Chief Inspector of the proposed Adult Learning Inspectorate together with preparatory work on information and business systems, premises and personnel arrangements for future Adult Learning Inspectorate staff. Its urgency arises from the need to have both the Chair and Chief Inspector in place as soon as possible after Royal Assent to ensure that public funds are properly protected and to enable their full participation in the planning process to ensure rapid progress to the establishment of the Adult Learning Inspectorate in April 2001.