Famously, the Cabinet Office boasted that the Government had embarked on a ‘bonfire of the quangos’, which would see almost 200 organisations disappear, saving the taxpayer a fortune. Ten months on, however, these claims have proved grossly overblown. All we’ve had is a few flickering flames, rather than a mighty conflagration. As new research revealed yesterday, of the 192 bodies that the Coalition promised to abolish, 151 still exist, continuing to leech off the taxpayer. Failure to deliver: Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister, leaves a television studio in Westminster on October 14, 2010 in London, after announcing the plans to abolish 192 Quangos and merge an additional 118 Failure to deliver: Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister, leaves a television studio in Westminster on October 14, 2010 in London, after announcing the plans to abolish 192 Quangos and merge an additional 118 The gigantic, expensive quango-land has proved astonishingly resistant to the cuts. A host of outfits that were deemed a waste of public money, such as the Football Licensing Authority and the notoriously spendthrift National Policing Improvement Agency, continue to survive long after their death knell was supposed to have sounded. Even when an organisation is axed, it often reappears in another form — just like the hydra of Greek mythology, which would grow two new heads for every one that the mighty Hercules chopped off. Ministers have made much of the planned abolition of the eight Regional Development Agencies, set up by John Prescott to ‘enable local communities to fulfil their economic ambitions’.
A year on from the ‘bonfire’ of the quangos, three in four survive Fury over taxpayer gold card cover-up: Ministers blame head of the Civil Service for blocking exposure of abuse Yet the agencies have been replaced by no fewer than 23 Local Enterprise Partnerships which are suspiciously similar to their predecessors. Likewise, the functions of the Training and Development Agency for teachers are to be taken over by a new body called the Teaching Agency, while the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority is to be replaced — you guessed it, — by another unelected organisation: the Standards and Testing Agency. This kind of structural tinkering and name-changing is designed to give the illusion of radical action, but all the while maintaining the bureaucratic status quo. An instinct for self-preservation runs deep in quangoland, with top officials skilled at finding new berths for themselves within the embrace of the state machine. Removed from reality: Even actor and director Clint Eastwood weighed in to criticise plans to abolish the Film Council Removed from reality: Even actor and director Clint Eastwood weighed in to criticise plans to abolish the Film Council There was a tremendous fuss last year when the Government announced the abolition of the UK Film Council, a move that was presented by campaigners on the Left as a shattering blow to a key industry and even attracted criticism from Clint Eastwood. Yet the Government was not nearly as tough as its critics portrayed. In fact, no fewer than 44 of the Film Council’s staff, around half its workforce, were simply transferred to another quango, the British Film Institute. They included Tanya Seghatchian, the £135,000 head of the Film Council’s film fund; Peter Buckingham, the Film Council’s former head of distribution and exhibition; and Will Evans, former head of business affairs. It is the same story in many other areas. For example, there was more wailing in the arts world when the Government announced the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), its duties to be taken over by the Arts Council.
All too predictably, several of the MLA’s top quangocrats made the smooth passage to the Arts Council, among them Hedley Swain, who is currently on £72,000 as director of programme delivery, and Nicola Morgan, who is programme manager of sector improvement at the MLA but from October will be director of libraries at the Arts Council. This merry-go-round can also be found in the NHS, where the abolition of the strategic health authorities has not hindered the careers of some top officials. Dame Barbara Hakin, former £200,000 head of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, will reportedly keep her salary in her new role in the Department of Health as managing director for commissioning development. The same good fortune has been experienced by Ian Dalton, the £195,000 chief executive of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, who becomes the DoH’s managing director for provider development. Nor has the imminent abolition of the London Development Agency, the discredited economic quango for the capital, come as too cruel a blow for its chief executive Sir Peter Rogers, who has become Mayor Boris Johnson’s £127,000–a-year economic adviser. Cocooned by their lavish subsidies and bloated with a false sense of self-importance, too many quangocrats refuse to face the economic realities of life in austerity Britain. They think they are entitled to the maintain the same profligate culture that existed under Labour — and the Coalition is too enfeebled to challenge them. Despite a supposed recruitment freeze at the top of the civil service and quangoland, the hiring of bureaucrats continues So, despite a supposed recruitment freeze at the top of the civil service and quangoland, the hiring of bureaucrats continues. One recent survey of 100 of Britain’s biggest quangos and public bodies showed that 51 have been advertising for staff in the past three months. English Heritage, for example, has advertised for 16 new staff, including a £45,000-a-year head of brands and national campaigns. Similarly, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence boosted its head count from 390 to 451 last year, while energy regulator OFGEM, the National Fraud Authority and the General Dental Council all increased staffing levels over the past year. One of the worst offenders has been the National Policing Improvement Agency, the effectiveness of whose work was demonstrated in the woeful response to the outbreak of mass thuggery in Britain’s cities last week.
It certainly can’t use the excuse that it was short of resources. Not only has it increased its permanent headcount from 1,489 to 1,538 in the past year, but its arrogant attitude towards the taxpayers who fund its existence was highlighted by revelations about how it had spent £100,000 on taxi fares, £1,800 on a beehive and £2,500 on dining at an exclusive Belgravia restaurant. No fewer than 150 members of the agency’s staff have credit cards, racking up average annual bills of £20,000. Whats been spared Similar extravagance can be seen in the huge pay-offs made to quango staff. Just as most people do not receive credit cards with almost unlimited sums from their employers, so few workers can expect massive golden farewells when they lose their jobs. But the normal laws of finance do not apply in quangoland, where an early departure can bring huge rewards. Research has shown that the average redundancy pay-out in Whitehall and for quangocrats is £42,000 — more than four times the national average of £9,362. The average redundancy pay-out in Whitehall and for quangocrats is £42,000 — more than four times the national average of £9,362 For senior pen-pushers, the pay-offs can be much higher. At the Training and Development Agency for Schools, 24 staff received packages worth an average of £160,000 each in 2010/11, with five given £200,000 and executive director Leanne Hedden handed £549,457. Sadly, such grotesque sums are widespread. The Land Registry paid 68 staff more than £200,000 to leave, though these figures are dwarfed by the colossal £949,000 awarded to the outgoing deputy director-general of the BBC, Mark Byford, and the £392,000 given to the BBC’s former director of marketing Sharon Baylay on her exit. The Commission for Architecture and Built Environment – one of the few quangos to be culled (sounds like a Gambier Threat case related NGO?) What makes these pay-offs all the more outrageous is the fact that many quangocrats take up well-paid jobs soon after pocketing the huge sums. When Charlotte Cane left her job earlier this year as director of resources at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), a quango whose functions are to be absorbed within the Design Council, she was given a package worth £225,000 — the equivalent of £11,000 for every month she was in the post. Yet she has already taken up a lucrative new job as director of finance at Engineering UK, the independent body that promotes engineering and technology in Britain. Just as offensive was the case of Mark Hammond, who has recently taken up a £130,000 position at the controversial and mismanaged Equality and Human Rights Commission, having only eight months ago pocketed a £256,000 package to take early retirement from West Sussex County Council. This practice of a huge, publicly-funded redundancies, followed by swift re-employment, amounts to a gross injustice towards the taxpayer and makes a mockery of the very concept of early retirement. The quango racket has to end. In desperately straitened times, this culture of wastefulness is an insult to the millions of hard-working families watching their standard of living fall due to rising prices and a sluggish economic recovery — a recovery which will grow only by encouraging enterprise, not by rewarding the bureaucrats in the State machine.
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The 300 people who were from the 42 NGOs who supposedly voted in the Local EXCO elections (300 out of 1.5 million is not a 66% quorum) are quangocrats. See what DAP intends to inflict upon us in the article above if DAP ever gains control of the government. What is a Quango? Or a Quangocrat? From the initial letters (the first two letters for the first word) of “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization”. A Quango is an organization that, although financed by a government, acts independently of it. A Quangocrat is a committe post holder within such a Quango. NGO covers both paid and unpaid Quangos and is a generally more polite way of describing a state funded NGO and should not be compared to a self funded NGO proper. RELA looks like a very expensive, tax payer funded but not ta payer approved Quango as well. All the same NGOs here look set to become state funded, so think voters and know what you vote for. Good work on the article, for once England looks to be breaking new ground, in clearing the parasites in any case – looking forward to precedents towards moving ahead (like the way judges pass sentences and the non-relevance of the Criminal Code’s punishments in the link below which however set England back 10 steps for the above 1 step forward.
Make sense – an apology by the offender and maybe an hour of clean up work AT MOST, instead of enriching the prison system and burdening the tax payers for 6 months or food, housing and guarding would suffice. No fines applicable because it was not about the money, imprisonmeenty is entirely unrelated to an attitude of taking a bottle of water ‘in the chaos’. How much did the offender harm society? In fact ask the shop keeper if he would treat someone to a bottle of water. And for this a 6 month jail term is applied? So much for the judgment of judges. Justice denied, or was the lawyer representing the offender asleep or too block headed to think outside the box of a failed criminal code that should be amended? It’s all about ethos and ‘carrying balls’ rather than logos in English courts then? Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Bottle of water for bottle of water. The taxpayers lose but the prison contractors laugh all the way to the bank. There are more honest ways of making a living or dispensing government monies than creating a jail and citizen imprisonment based economy.
QUOTE ” You can’t arrest your way out of riot problems. ” Finance Minister George Osborne UNQUOTE