To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the process by which a decision was made to reduce to two the number of examination boards whose English language tests may be used for applications for citizenship met Cabinet Office guidance on procurement in relation to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Following significant abuse identified in the provision of English language testing the Home Office commissioned an independent review. A key outcome was to reduce the number of service providers. The benefit of the approach was to improve the Home Office’s ability to actively manage service provision. In terms of compliance with Cabinet Office’s policy for small and medium-sized enterprises the procurement process permitted all organisations, irrespective of size, to submit compliant bids in line with the business and commercial requirements. All bids were evaluated in accordance with the requirements and those organisations that were compliant were awarded Concession Agreements.