Another staff agency has claimed that the Association of Colleges chief executive, Roger Ward, rebuffed their bid to seek endorsement because he was promoting Education Lecturing Services.
The TES has already revealed that when Nord Anglia Education, a lecturing agency, met Mr Ward, a representative from ELS was at the meeting, unknown to Nord Anglia. Mr Ward denies saying the woman was his assistant.
It was later revealed that another company, Initial Education Personnel, claimed it never even got a reply when it wrote providing information about its services. When The TES put this to Mr Ward, he said he would be happy to meet the company.
In July 1995, Geoff Lennox, of ELS, wrote to Mr Ward about Pertemps Group PLC which was offering an alternative service. He asked Mr Ward to find out how real a threat this was to ELS. "I know that you have your normal ways of inviting such organisations to provide details to the CEF..." he wrote.
Now TimePlan Education Group, which supplies staff to schools and colleges, and has a turnover of Pounds 11 million, says it was rebuffed by Mr Ward because, they claim, he had an "unhealthy relationship" with ELS.
The company wrote to Mr Ward in July last year when he was still chief executive of the Colleges Employers Forum. It said that an increasing number of colleges had asked them for help. "We are naturally concerned that we should be aware of and comply with the standards agreed by the CEF and its members. I should therefore be grateful if you could supply me with any guidelines that you may issue."
Mr Ward replied: "Do please let me know which colleges you supply and I will come back to you in due course."
The company replied: "TimePlan provides a professional, confidential supply service and you will understand that we are therefore unable to disclose the names of our client schools and colleges. I should be grateful, as I am sure would be the colleges you represent, if you could provide me with a copy of your guidelines so that we can ensure that we can aim to meet the CEF's standards."
Mr Ward persisted, writing: "As soon as you identify to the CEF the colleges you serve, I will reconsider your request."
This week, Ian Penman, director of Timeplan said: "It is outrageous that Mr Ward should want to see a list of our clients. ELS was our competitor. I was very concerned at the apparently unhealthy relationship because he was promoting ELS at the expense of other parties. There is a clear conflict of interest here."
Mr Ward was unwilling to comment.