Missing AEB contract award finally made public

Saga adds to concern about the whole procurement process

Saga adds to concern about the whole procurement process

A training provider that was left off the government’s adult education budget tender winners list has finally had its contract award published.

On August 30 the DfE named 54 training providers who won a contract in its national tender – which was worth £74,702,770 in total – on the contracts finder website. This was one fewer than what was announced to the sector in July, and TLG Business Services was left off.

The DfE later revealed it was awarding an “additional” AEB contract for an undisclosed amount to The Portland Training Company, taking the total number of winners back up to 55.

However, the department then published a separate contracts finder page a day later which showed TLG Business Services has in fact been awarded a contract from the tender for £297,230.

It means the total amount of funding awarded from the tender will surpass the £75 million pot set aside for it, once Portland’s contract value is revealed next week.

The saga adds to concern about the whole procurement process which is currently being challenged through the courts by a major training group, Learning Curve, which missed out on a contract.

The legal challenge imposed an automatic suspension on contract awards when it was launched in August, but it was swiftly lifted by Learning Curve’s lawyers.

DfE officials blamed the delay for publishing TLG’s contract award on the automatic suspension.

TLG told FE Week it was experiencing “some system onboarding issues”, which were “quickly rectified” by the DfE, but “may have been the reason for the omission”.

“I’m pleased to share that our contract has been signed and there are no ongoing issues to speak of,” the spokesperson added.

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