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Quango bonfire torches websites

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The complete list of quangos to be quashed by the Coalition has been released and fortunately republished by the BBC and other media because the government's own sites have been still mostly unavailable today.

The Central Office of Information website has been down for most of the day - it is one of the quangos which is still in limbo.

Most of the bodies due for extermination have already leaked or pre-announced by ministers.

So as expected, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd will no longer be a public corporation.

The Competition Commission will merge with the Office of Fair Trading. The Design Council will be set up as an independent charity, as will NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts).

British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) will be abolished as well.

Also unlikely to be mourned by many - the Advisory Board on the Registration of Homeopathic Products and the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee will both be canned.

The BBC World Service and the British Council will both be retained, as will the Information Commissioner's Office. The Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors has also been given a stay of execution.

The National Policing Improvement Agency remains under consideration.

The aim of the exercise is to save money and trim the public sector workforce. But the government can't say how much money it will save, and how many jobs will be axed . And is unlikely to be for some time - laws have to be passed, redundancy packages agreed. The consensus is that vast numbers of quango employees will simply end up back at the government departments they were spun out of.

The full list should be available from this page, about halfway down, on the Cabinet Office site. ®

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