Student loan system failure could happen again
Watchdog warns as SLC handles double apps
An investigation into the failure of the Student Loan Company to properly process applications has revealed the disaster could be repeated later this year.
Spending watchdog the National Audit Office said that failures of oversight from the company's board, and from Mandelson's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills meant the difficulties and risks of the project were underestimated.
The NAO warned that the company is expected to process twice as many applications this year with no proof that it will be able to provide a decent service.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “The question must be asked how the Company, given its failure in 2009, will deal with twice as many applications in 2010, when it becomes responsible for applications from both first and second year students. The Department and the Company must give the highest priority to achieving a radical improvement in the service..."
The NAO found the SLC launched its document scanning system without properly testing it. When it failed the contingency plan was both inadequate and implemented late. These failures led to a backlog of paper applications which the company failed to store in a way which meant they could be easily retrieved.
A new system is due to go live this month. The NAO said the SLC believed it had carried out enough testing and backup planning but it had "been over-optimistic in the past and it remains to be seen whether the system will operate satisfactorily in a live environment in peak months".
By the start of term all these problems meant the SLC had processed less than half of the applications. The company failed to tell students what was going on, an action which would have reduced pressure on its call centres. It also failed to talk to universities and colleges.
The NAO said the SLC board failed to oversee the process and was unaware of problems until it was too late.
The Customer First Programme board also lacked expertise. It was chaired by the Department, with a representative from the SLC and one from HMRC. It had no experience of delivering such a big centralisation project, no IT experience and no finance or human resources expertise. The NAO recommended recruiting better board members
The Department also failed to monitor the SLC. The company failed to deliver value for money. It took a third longer to process applications than the local authorities which it replaced.
More from the NAO available here. ®
Saw this on BBC this morning.
They had an interview with the head of the Student Loans Company - what a sleazy, typical stereotype of a senior civil servant he was. He attemped to weasel out of every question posed to him, not by the legendary Jeremy Paxman, but by Charlie Stait, the Friday morning stand-in for Bill Turnbull.
He was questioned on whether he and his management would receive any bonuses for their abysmal performance last year, and he weaseled out saying "any bonuses would reflect performance", he weaseled out when he was asked if he'd resign if the same problems arose this year, and it appears their solution to the problem with late processing of student loans was to hire more non-executive directors and managers - as if either of those two groups of people ever solved a fucking operational problem anywhere ever!!!
Do college, meeja studies or something worthwhile, whatever
get a mc job after.
SLC WILL steal from you.
Change bank accounts and default on agreed repayments/SLC thefts.
go to court.
SLC will not sent any reprasentatives - and that will not piss the courts off in the slightest, at least it will not have donr on the 100 occasions they have failed to send any reprasentatinve this week :-)
friendly chat with magistrate who's day is wasted just like yours.
so says beak, what can you afford?
ten bob a week says i
done says beak
they have been says i
£1800 loan will be repaid in 75 years.
no intrest and no more theiving from my account. all handled via courts :-)
go get a proper job.
f*** them AND the horse they rode in on.
Assuming you're being serious that's a rather twattish thing to do. Can you think of a good reason why the entire nation should fund your investment plans - do we get any kind of return on the investment we made on your behalf?
Because I missed several months worth of stock market investments due to loan delays. Yes I'm one of those people that doesn't need the loan but claims it anyway to invest.
Stop the government encouraging everybody and their stupid brother to go to uni to do mickey mouse degrees such as 'media studies' and devaluing the benefits of having a degree.
Less idiots cluttering up the system, therefore everybody else gets their money on time.