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Becta dismisses accusations of wasted millions

The British Education and Communications Agency (Becta), tasked by the government with organising IT in schools, has dismissed an independent report claiming that over £200m of government funds have been wasted under its watch.
The British Education and Communications Agency (Becta), tasked by the government with organising IT in schools, has dismissed an independent report claiming that over £200m of government funds have been wasted under its watch.
The report by Sirius, an open source consultant, accuses Becta of not properly monitoring e-Learning Credits (eLCs), funds available to schools to buy software from an approved list of titles and suppliers.
Of the £300m allocated through eLCs to date, Sirius estimates that two-thirds cannot be accounted for.
Lack of transparency and lax overseeing by Becta has meant that ICT provision is in the hands of a small number of large suppliers, the report concludes.
"Becta appears to operate a closed shop of ICT vendors which is limiting innovation in schools," said John Spencer, an author of the report and head of education at Sirius.
Becta officials have strongly denied the accusations and, at the time of posting this article, were in the process of drafting a full response to the Sirius report.

© 2006 itNews. Original article by Andrew Charlesworth

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