The new FE Commissioner post is due be re-advertised next week with an appointment expected before the first Ofsted inspections reports in October, FE Week can reveal.
The role was advertised in May, but no-one was appointed despite a number of interviews.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) confirmed new candidates would be sought.
The commissioner would have the power to issue notices of concern to underperforming colleges, and to close colleges that did not improve.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has said the commissioner would have a fortnight to decide if the current leadership and governance could improve a struggling college.
If the commissioner decides they can’t, the college would be placed in ‘administered college status’, surrendering control of its finances and assets.
The commissioner would then complete a structure and prospects appraisal of the provider’s delivery model “within three months of the college or institution being placed in administered college or administered institution status,” said Mr Hancock.
BIS confirmed that at present no colleges are in administered college status.