14 October 2010

The quango cull - official list

Well, here it is. Isn't it cute how Whitehall sniffily calls them "Non-Departmental Public Bodies"? It's the end of the experiment launched by Thatcher to create a parallel bureaucracy, nurturing the insane (in retrospect) hope that it might prove more responsive and cost-effective than the traditional departments of state.

The government reviewed 798 NDPBs (679 quangos and 119 other statutory bodies), of which 192 are to be abolished and 118 merged. 380 will definitely be retained.* 

No surprise that Eric "The Man" Pickles' department (Communities and Local Government) seems to be the one that has shed the largest proportion of its incubi. The largest number of sinecures culled seem to be at the  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which has no function independent of the EU.

Tragically, no surprise either that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has shed the least. On the other hand, the greenies are squealing about the loss of a number of other sources of jobs for the lowmid boys and girls, so it can't be all bad.

Arguably the two most egregious quangos, after the sacred cow BBC, are the Health and Safety Executive and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and they are to be "substantially reformed".

In reply to jeer by Liam "There's No Money Left" Byrne that the exercise would cost more (through the golden parachutes the Labourite quangistas have voted themselves) than it would save, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude ineloquently made it plain that the purpose was principally political.
What people find so irritating is the sense that there is this huge amount of activity incontinently set up, much of it by the last government, by bodies which are not in any way accountable - no one can be held accountable for what they do and that is what we are seeking to change

* Yeah, I know. The figures don't add up. The balance are "under consideration" and so on.

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