HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 c594W
Mr. Miller

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the future of individual learning accounts. [18829]

Estelle Morris

On Friday 23 November the Department for Education and Skills called in police to investigate new allegations of fraud and theft involving individual learning accounts. Officers from the Department's Special Investigations Unit had discovered irregularities on Thursday after being contacted by an ILA provider. On Friday afternoon, the ILA programme was shut down immediately, two weeks earlier than the planned suspension from December 7, as set out in the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen), on 25 October 2001.

I do recognise the impact this decision will have on learners and learning providers and I am taking steps to keep them informed about developments.

Mr. Djanogly

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when her Department was first notified of possible fraud related to individual learning accounts. [17484]

John Healey

The first individual learning account provider to have been suspended because of complaints about alleged fraud was on 25 June 2001. The Department, on 11 June 2001, received the first letter in relation to this particular case. From July of this year the Department received an increasing number of similar complaints from individuals and local trading standards officers.