The cull of UK quangos

The term ‘quango’ has come to be almost an insult, but it is simply an acronym – short for quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation. Most of these organisations do really good work and give value for money, although there is always a case for looking at roles, rationalisation and savings.

Perhaps some of the functions could be carried out within Government Departments, but dedicated public bodies are usually more focused on the issues, more transparent in their work, and more consultative in their operations.

Furthermore particular care needs to be taken with reducing the role and resources of regulatory bodies. The failure of the regulatory process is behind such catastrophes as the collapse of the world banking system and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I declare an interest: as a semi-retired portfolio worker, most of what I do these days is working with two arm’s length public bodies, the Communications Consumer Panel and Consumer Focus.

Sadly, in the name of public expenditure cuts, the Coalition Government seems to have declared war on so-called quangos and is conducting a ‘slash and burn’ approach to many of them, whether in health or education or elsewhere. It has just been announced that the UK Film Council is to go, but there was no notice and no consultation.

In the “Independent” newspaper today, there is the first full list that I have seen of bodies whose closure has been announced or specifically threatened.

One Comment

  • Mavis

    People who knocked quango’s never gave it a thought that without these bodies, government and business ride roughshod over the likes of me. I would have thought that 76% do good. That’s is not a bad batting average.


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