The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) is to continue with plans to close its old funding system next week, despite ongoing problems with its replacement.

Providers have until tomorrow (Friday) to submit data for the individualised learner record (ILR) R14 returns period, but once again the SFA has admitted having technical problems with the hub, which is due to fully replace the online data collection (OLDC) from November.

As reported by FE Week, the hub has broken down at a critical time at least twice since it started being used in July. The SFA previously acknowledged problems in August for R12 returns and in September, when the hub broke down on the deadline day for R13.

The SFA had kept the OLDC running alongside the hub and encouraged providers to submit returns through both systems, but has confirmed it will now close as planned.

A spokesperson said: “We are currently experiencing technical issues with the Hub. This will not impact on the returns deadline for R14. For each of the 2013 to 2014 funding year collections, we have asked all providers to submit the same data to both the Hub and to the OLDC system.”

“As planned, we will switch off OLDC at the end of October 2014, after the close of R14 of 2013/14. If you need to keep reports for audit purposes from the funding year 2013 to 2014 or earlier, please download and save them to a safe location. You will not be able to access any unsaved reports once OLDC is switched off.”