Coalition's quango hit list revealed
BBC World Service, Carbon Trust await their fates
A hit list of 177 quangos which the coalition government plans to abolish in order to save money has been revealed.
The list includes British Nuclear Fuels, British Waterways, the Commission for Integrated Transport, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the National Policing Improvement Agency.
A further four groups will be privatised - the Construction and Skills Training Board, the Engineering Construction Board, the Film Industry Training Board and the Tote Board, the Telegraph, which has the full list, reports.
Some 94 organisations are still to have their fates decided - including the previously mentioned Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors.
Others include the BBC World Service, the British Council, the British Hallmarking Trust, the Carbon Trust, the Competition Commission, the Design Council, the Energy Savings Trust and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which oversees RIPA, the Office for Fair Trading, the Student Loan Company and Visit Britain are all also waiting to hear what their future holds.
The leak is a convenient first taste of the government's spending review, which is due at the end of October.
Many of the quangos supposedly disappearing will really just be brought back within the government department which oversees their work. ®
Thirty seconds spent
searching for the 'Advisory Committe on Conscientious Objectors' throws back their annual report, which reveals that it's there to advise on claims made by members of the armed forces that they should be able to retire/resign their commissions/be discharged on the basis that they have conscientious objections to whatever they're being asked to do.
Six people (mainly senior lawyers) are named to the committee; they only get paid if and when they meet, and they only meet when such a case comes up. The day rate for two of the members is £350; for the remaining four it's £198. They last needed to meet in 1996, and have met a grand total of thirty-six times since 1971. Its total annual cost is, one would assume, somewhere in three figures, or maybe in the low four figures.
In other words - it's a body doing an occasionally necessary task, pretty cost effectively, and abolishing it will likely lead to more costs, not less, as people will end up being assigned on an ad hoc basis, rather than being there ready to be used when necessary. Which is likely to be the case for many of these quangos.
Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors
I'm going to end up thinking that these cuts are going too far, but...
Why do we have an Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors in a country with no conscription? Or did I just fall for some premature April Fools gag?
Re- Downsize them, don't abolish that many
Unfortunately, experience has shown that the usual result of downsizing has been to eliminate the expertise and core functions and to retain only the fat cats with their stupid big salaries.