Quangos - All You Need to Know

#1
Interesting report

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/be...te-guide-to-the-semiautonomous-public-bo.html

Key Findings:

• In 2007-08 there were 1,152 Semi-Autonomous Public Bodies (SAPBs) operating in the UK, a small reduction in the number recorded in our 2006-07 survey (1,162). While some bodies have been abolished or merged, others have been created or included since the production of the last report.

• The amount spent on or through these SAPBs was over £90 billion in 2007-08, an increase of £13 billion from the £77.2 billion spent by those same bodies in 2006-07.

• Spending through SAPBs in 2007-08 was equivalent to around £3,640 per household.

• In 2007-08 SAPBs employed over 534,000 staff. The largest employer was JobCentre Plus, with 67,110.

• The UK Government department with the most (distinct) SAPBs in 2007-08 was the Department of Health (DoH) with 72.

• However, the department to spend the most through SAPBs was the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), which directed over £21 billion to its 23 bodies, £11 billion of which went to the Learning and Skills council, and £7 billion to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

• The SAPB responsible for the largest public budget is Defence Equipment and Support (DES), which handled £16.7 billion worth of military procurement and supply for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
 
#2
Well, there's one glaring error there at least - if you take the Wikipedia definition of a quango:

"A body which has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm's length from Ministers."

DE&S is very much part of a government department.
 
#3
Perhaps I'm a little world weary but I'm not in the least surprised by any of this. As the report states politicians "use quangos to avoid taking responsibility".

What worries me is that the Public sector in the UK has become the equivalent of the Military Industrial Complex in the US. A massive vested interest in ever increasing cycles of expansion using public money. How many people owe their salary to the public purse? Soldiers apart, I suspect Turkeys will not vote for Christmas and consequently a govt that will dramatically cut back the size of the public sector.

Alas it will require a major crisis before people actually face facts that the public sector Britain has is at a scale it simply cannot afford even in the height of the boom whatever about the current crunch.
 
#5
Uncivil_Servant said:
Well, there's one glaring error there at least - if you take the Wikipedia definition of a quango:

"A body which has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm's length from Ministers."

DE&S is very much part of a government department.
Also isn't the Royal Mail by far the largest quango?
 
#6
parapauk said:
Uncivil_Servant said:
Well, there's one glaring error there at least - if you take the Wikipedia definition of a quango:

"A body which has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm's length from Ministers."

DE&S is very much part of a government department.
Also isn't the Royal Mail by far the largest quango?
I don't think the RM's a quango at all - it doesn't play any role in the legislative or regulatory processes of government. I stand to be corrected though.
 
#7
Should you click through to the main body of the report, make sure that no breakable objects are nearby :x

National College for School Leadership. Potential savings: £82,974,000

"Set up to improve the quality of head-teachers, the NCSL has had a limited impact. Indeed Government now favours a ‘federation’ approach to school management, with proven ‘super-heads’ taking over a number of schools."

Ah yes. Where to start. Mrs B. knows a fair bit about this lot and their "mission". Got a very big & shiney conference centre in Nottingham. A vast talking shop.

Welsh Channel 4 (S4C) Potential savings: £98,440,000

"S4C provides a dedicated platform for Welsh language television. As part of the continuing devolution of responsibilities to Cardiff, funding for S4C should now transfer to the Welsh Assembly."

OK moving money from one pocket to another but let it come out of the Welsh pocket!

but mere warm-ups compared to:

Regional Development Agencies (x9) Potential savings £2,212,016,000

"RDAs have not delivered on their objectives. Government appraisals of their performance have been forced to project ‘possible future benefits’ from the activities of RDAs to justify their current existence."

Useless.
 
#8
I'm sure that we could do without some of the bodies highlighted in here (why is there still a 'Women's National Commission' when we also have the 'Equality and Human Rights Commission' - it doesn't even keep Harriet Harman out of the papers.)

As U_S said, though, they've included a lot of things that are directly managed bits of the MOD - DE&S, DCSA (who were subsumed into DE&S, IIRC), Defence Vetting, MCTC etc. In these austere times, we could save some £15m per year by cutting all subsidies to the military museums* (which I would regret, personally), and, of course, we could bin the AFPRB 'cause we know that's a bit of a joke ... I presume that many departments have similar core or significant activities included here. Bring them back under overt departmental control, if necessary but I don't think you get much more cash or benefits as a 2* or 3* "Head of Agency" than if you were "ACDS(Blah)".

* Why are the Naval museums apparently so much better at getting non-govt income? Around 75% of it, for the Fleet Air Arm (the best of them) and 40% for the Submarine Museum (the worst), as opposed to just 12% for the National Army Museum?
 
#9
Uncivil_Servant said:
parapauk said:
Also isn't the Royal Mail by far the largest quango?
I don't think the RM's a quango at all - it doesn't play any role in the legislative or regulatory processes of government. I stand to be corrected though.
TPA treat it as one, reasonably, I think:

Public Corporations and Government owned not-for-profit companies – the first group refers to businesses in which the taxpayer is the sole shareholder (such as Royal Mail, BBC and Remploy). The latter group refers to the numerous ‘companies’ effectively owned by the taxpayer, but not constituted officially as public corporations (such as the Carbon Trust and the Waste and Resource Action Programme). Both types are distinguished in the guide by the acronym PC.
The BBC is under the DCMS on p25, with the World Service under FCO on p34. I can't find the Royal Mail anywhere in the actual lists.
 
#10
Blogg said:
Should you click through to the main body of the report, make sure that no breakable objects are nearby :x

National College for School Leadership. Potential savings: £82,974,000

If these individuals need 'leadership training' why are they in post?

Welsh Channel 4 (S4C) Potential savings: £98,440,000

2,950,000 people in Wales. About 500,000 are Welsh speakers. Good value for our tax money? I think not - I am Welsh!

Regional Development Agencies (x9) Potential savings £2,212,016,000

This expenditure is so ludicrous and wholly unnecessary as to be close to criminal. I recall that the fiercely intellectual Prescott was involved in this arrant nonsense.

Note to Mr. Cameron: Day 1 please - all three, plus many others. Your budget deficit will be solved at a stroke.

The total above = £2,393,430,000 - (Two point three BILLION) of our tax money thrown away at the altar of dogma and as a result of European interference in our affairs.
 

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