Share

Select committee savages government's quango cull

Bernard Jenkin MP
News

Select committee savages government's quango cull

Finance | Tania Mason | 7 Jan 2011

The Public Administration Committee has slated the government’s quango cull, saying many of the functions should have been transferred to charities and mutuals rather than simply scrapped.

In a scathing report that describes the exercise as “poorly managed” and unlikely to deliver the claimed cost-savings or better accountability, the cross-party Committee advises the government to rethink the process, re-examine each body’s governance arrangements, and consider handing some of the functions over to civil society organisations.

The government should have taken much longer to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the stable of quangos than it did, according to the Committee’s chair, Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin.

The Cabinet Office failed to establish a proper procedure for departments to follow and did not consult with the organisations concerned or the public.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to help build the Big Society and save money at the same time, but it has been botched,” he said.

The report stated that the tests used by government to evaluate each public body “may have seemed superficially plausible at the outset, but are hopelessly unclear”.

In a stinging statement issued alongside the report, the Committee said that the review has highlighted the “complex and confusing landscape of UK public bodies”.

“The current system is chaotic, making it difficult to understand why different arms-length bodies exist and what these variations mean in practice.”

Bringing the functions of quangos back inside central departments is not certain to improve accountability, the Committee added.

After the report was published, Unite the Union added its voice to the criticism, saying that the Public Bodies (Reform) Bill had “all the hallmarks of being hastily-prepared and ill-thought-out”.

General secretary-designate Len McCluskey said: “The fact that the government, which has been in office for nine months, is still unable to say how much will be saved by this exercise, speaks volumes for its ability to formulate coherent policy.”

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, denied the review had been rushed and insisted it would save “very significantly more” than £1bn.

In total, 192 public bodies are being abolished by the coalition government.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Charities who ignore 'no cold callers' signs are not in breach of Iof Code of Practice, says FRSB

29 Jan 2015

Doorstep fundraisers can ignore “no cold callers” signs without breaching the Code of Fundraising...

Macmillan Coffee Morning raises record breaking £25m

29 Jan 2015

Macmillan’s flagship fundraising event, the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, has beaten its previous...

BP donations to Tate 'embarrassingly small' say campaigners

27 Jan 2015

An arts charity has criticised the Tate for accepting an “embarrassingly small” amount of money from...

Shawcross reappointed as chair of the Charity Commission

29 Jan 2015

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, has reappointed William Shawcross as chair of Charity...

Commission shows ‘real improvement’ but many concerns remain, says Public Accounts Committee

29 Jan 2015

The Charity Commission has been praised by Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, for...

Commission to investigate charitable school over private benefit from leisure centre and dating agency

29 Jan 2015

The Charity Commission is set to open a statutory inquiry into Durand Education Trust, a charity connected...

NGO domain pages will launch in May

28 Jan 2015

The Public Interest Registry will make the .ngo generic top-level domain name generally available from...

Comparison website for special needs services launched by charity consortium

23 Jan 2015

A coalition of social care charities has launched a TripAdvisor-style website, designed to help families...

CRUK debuts contactless giving through shop windows

21 Jan 2015

Cancer Research UK has announced a collaboration with outdoor media owner Clear Channel to bring contactless...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance