|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Government to spend billions less through quangos
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude yesterday announced that departments are estimating reductions in spending through public bodies of £11 billion a year by 2014-15.
The reductions are part of a cumulative £30 billion reduction over the Spending Review period through the review of public bodies, departmental reforms and the Spending Review.
Mr Maude also announced tough new rules to restrict the lobbying of Government by public-funded bodies. Public bodies will be restricted from carrying out unnecessary or political PR or marketing activity under the new rules.
Francis Maude announced anticipated cumulative administrative savings alone of £2.6 billion from public bodies over the Spending Review period. The minister was responding to a House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee report on public bodies. The Government’s response, published today, addresses head-on several misconceptions and inaccuracies in the parliamentary report.
Francis Maude said:
For too long, too many unelected officials have been taking decisions that affect the public and spending billions of pounds of public money. Reform of public bodies is long overdue and our plans will bring about the largest scale changes to the quango landscape in a generation.
"People are fed up with a complex system where the ministers they elected could avoid taking responsibility for difficult and tough decisions by hiding behind a chief executive paid more than the Prime Minister. Businesses are fed up of being held up by red tape and bureaucracy.
"There should be a clear presumption that an elected, accountable individual takes responsibility for these activities unless there is a compelling reason for it being carried out by an independent body. So we are converting a number of public bodies into executive agencies precisely to make them democratically accountable through a minister. The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is one example.
"A secondary but important part of the reforms is to cut waste. Public bodies will help us to achieve £2.6 billion of cumulative administrative savings across Government and divert public funds to essential frontline services.
"The reforms also encourage the Big Society by transferring functions from public bodies to voluntary, charitable and social enterprises.
"The Public Bodies Bill will enable the creation of a new Waterways Charity, abolish the Regional Development Agencies, replacing them with local enterprise partnerships which bring together businesses and local authorities, and will strengthen and increase the role of the Citizens Advice Bureaux."