Abolition of UfI / Learndirect

Michael Walden made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

In a press release on 19th July 2010, your department announced it was abolishing Ufi/learndirect (http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.asp...).

In response to two FOI requests on 20th August 2010, the Cabinet Office listed Ufi/learndirect as an abolished Quango (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ab... / http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ne...).

However, in interviews Ufi/learndirect claim that they have been included on the list by mistake (source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/...).

Please provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

1) The status of Ufi/learndirect. Is it being abolished or not.
2) Copies of any discussions and decisions (email, memo, minutes etc) relating to the abolition of Ufi/learndirect.

I look forward to your response within 20 working days. If some parts of this request are easier to answer than others, please provide the easiest parts first rather than hold up the entire request.

I would prefer to receive your response in electronic format.

If you decide to withhold some of the information requested using exemptions in the FOIA, please inform me which exemptions you have used.

If you need clarification of any of the points in this request, please contact me via email. Under your section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Walden

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Walden

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2010/0069371

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288

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FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

BIS ref:10/1929

Dear Mr Walden

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 23
August. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at
the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to deal with.
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be responded at the latest by 21 September

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the information
rights unit at BIS. Please remember to quote the reference number above
in any future communications.

BIS Information Rights Unit

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FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

BIS FOI 10/1929

Dear Mr Walden

Thank you for your e mail FOI request of 20 August for information about
the status of Ufi/learndirect and copies of any discussions and decisions
relating to its abolition.

Ufi/learndirect has not been abolished nor are there any plans to abolish
it. However, consistent with government plans to significantly reduce the
number and cost of public bodies, its status has changed and it has been
operating as an independent body since 1 August 2010.

The new independent status of Ufi means that the government controls over
Board appointments and business strategy have been removed and
Ufi/learndirect is now funded on the same basis as other colleges and
private providers. And cost savings have been achieved in so far as the
budget provided by the Skills Funding Agency in 2010/11 for adult learner
responsive activity is £20 million lower than in 2009/10.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills press notice of 19 July
to which you refer stated that Ufi/learndirect comes under a category of
organisations which are being abolished, merged or having their BIS
funding terminated. In the case of Ufi/learndirect, it will no longer be
in receipt of grant funding from BIS. The letter of 20 August to you from
Cabinet Office was unfortunately mistaken in so far as it said that
Ufi/learndirect was being abolished. A clarification on the status of
Ufi/learndirect was given to the House of Lords by Baroness Wilcox on 16
June (in answer to a House of Lords question). A copy of the Hansard
record is available from the UK Parliament website at

Since Ufi has not been abolished it is not possible to meet your request
for copies of any discussions or decisions relating to such a decision.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to [2][email address]

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills |
[3][email address] | Bay 351, 66-74 Victoria Street, London,
SW1E 6SW | [4]www.bis.gov.uk

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for business
success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone
the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this we will foster
world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS -
Investing in our future

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