How much?

The NHS amongst other services could do with that money.
£2.5m bill for
driving theory
test ‘fiasco’
Taxpayers have been left to foot a £2.5m bill after transport officials admitted bungling a decision over who should manage driving theory tests for learners.
Labour accused ministers of incompetence after they were forced to row back on a decision to hand the contract to LearnDirect from 2014 because they had failed to carry out proper checks on the company.
Pearson Driving Assessments, which currently owns the £30m a year contract, issued a formal challenge and were rewarded with a two-year extension to their current deal, meaning LearnDirect cannot take over until 2016.
The contract with LearnDirect was to be worth £20m-£25m per year, ministers confirmed, leading to accusations that the botched process could have cost the taxpayer up to £20m over two years.
Coalition officials insisted Pearson would operate the tests for a lower fee in 2014 and 2015, meaning the actual cost of the mistake will be closer to £1 million per year, but admitted the failed procurement process itself had cost more than £500,000.
It also means LearnDirect’s new testing system, which will offer candidates a wider range of test centres to choose from, has been held back for two years due to the paperwork error. Pearson previously admitted losing details of more than 3 million learner drivers in 2007 during a “routine” data backup procedure.
Mary Creagh, the shadow transport secretary, said Labour had written to the National Audit Office to demand a public review into the “financial fiasco”.
She said: “A year after the NAO concluded that there were severe management failures in the InterCity West Coast franchising process, the DfT have another contract shambles on their hands.
“Ministerial incompetence at the Department of Transport over the driving theory test procurement has cost the taxpayer up to £20 million over the next two years.”
A Department of Transport spokesperson said:
“The renegotiation of the current contract with Pearson to deliver driving theory tests up to September 2016 has delivered substantial savings, with similar savings achieved by the decision to move to LearnDirect delivering tests from 2016. The cost of the tests will actually be cheaper in 2014 than they were last year. It is simply wrong to claim the Government’s procurement has cost the taxpayer £20m.”

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