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 …
Why abolish the quangos?
Why not just set up another regulatory body to take charge of them?
We could call it Ofquang .....
What does the Darwin Advisory Committee do? Seems sort of appropriate that it gets the chop of deemed useless.
Their website says: The Darwin Initiative assists countries that are rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives under one or more of the three major biodiversity Conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
Seems like this quango is living in a non-UK habitat, so looks likely for extinction!
Shame, I was really hoping, it was going to have something to do with dishing out Darwin awards.
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?
I was thinking the same
Shame really, sounds like my kind of work:-
'Any conscientious objectors?'
Downsize them, don't abolish that many
At least half of them have a really important function.
We will lose valuable expertise if they are abolished. Instead the Government should save at least half but tell them they have to downsize and make do with 25% of their original budget or shut down. Then the quangos will cut their fat, reduce their stupid big salaries and retain only their very core functions. Set a max wage limit too, if they are under public control then they can be told what their limits are.
It will be sad to see some of the bodies go which do a good job at preserving our history and infrastructure. British Nuclear Fuels seems like a rather important one to keep. I'm sure their core function can be preserved after a 75% budget cut. Don't kill them off.
Why do we need to keep BNFL?
Is French uranium just too garlicky for your tastes? Or do you think that being able to enrich our own uranium, and produce plutonium in fast breeder reactors is an important function, for all those new nuclear weapons Lewis says we need?
Some of them will have their functions taken over directly by the government department responsible, which is good because then ministers will be held more directly accountable for performance and expenditure. I also saw a handful that I though possibly deserved to survive, but if they're going to be insourced then hopefully the necessary expertise will remain available but at lower cost.
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.
That sounds all very reasonable and congratulations on your upvotes but where can I check these figures. I have seen the Annual Report 2007/08 as it comes quite high on the google rankings. Mentioning all about the the 6 people all of which are appointed by the Department for Constitutional affairs and the 4 lay members.
However, I spent more than 30 seconds on this and other sites and I still cannot find anything relating to their actual cost and total funding. This is the reason I hate Quangos is because I cannot see easily see their proper cost.
If you would be so kind as to direct me to this information, without actually having to send a letter to the Ministry of defence I would be grateful.
can't find it?
2nd link on google. If you can't find that in 30 seconds, you're a bloody slow reader!
No it really does exist!
From the MOD website
"The Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors is a Non Departmental Public Body. The responsibility of the committee is to advise the Secretary of State for Defence regarding all claims to conscientious objection to further service in the Armed Forces."
Usual strategy then
Govts always do this:
Leak some list or policy.
Wait for outcry.
Remove the things from the list that are really unpopular/unlawful/Gove-style cock-ups.
Enact rest of list(if anything left).
Burn them…burn them all!!!
But, if you look at the details that have been leaked (but seldom reported), the chopping is not what it seems! The process is to reduce expenditure through quango reduction. What is to be reduced is the expenditure on property, taxes, overheads and support contracts including IT for seperate organisations. Generally, the cost reduction will be in no longer running separate organisations but in absorbing staff and organisational role into other new or expanded organisations – some announced others not.
Anyway, where are all the quangos that really do need chopping – those that people really want chopped such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission – politically too far for the Coalition?
What, no ACPO Plc?
Ah well, maybe next time.
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.
If 'the reason [you] hate Quangos is because [you] cannot see easily see their proper cost', then you should probably stop hating them - it's actually pretty easy these days to find out the costs for most quangos. Start here - http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/resources/ndpbs.aspx - and look at the report for the department the quango falls under, if you want breakdowns for each individual body.
If you look at the MOD report, for example, it reports that the Advisory Committe on Conscientious Objectors cost nothing in the previous year, as, like most of the small advisory groups, it only costs money when it actually meets.
Thanks for the resource +upvote.
It must be [me] then, as it still doesn't clearly define their true funding. I have searched through the MOD Annual Report 2009/10 and other resources on the site.
O.k. I give up and will concede it's [me] and that my hate is irrational. As we can all PRESUME going with the infomation available, that the RATES OF REMUNERATION have not changed since 2001 and that it costs nothing, as there is no cost listed in the official looking accounts.
Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors (MOD) 2001
Total Expenditure £0.001m
Chair £350 per meeting
Deputy Chair £350 per meeting
Member £198 per meeting
I imagine that was a pretty good rate in 2001. I wonder in what form these meetings took and how long it takes, in minutes, to constitute one.
The World Service
It's one of those things that puts us on the map. It brings us respect, goodwill and tourism, and most likely pays for itself several times over.
Oh, and the World Service is funded by the Foreign Office. If you feel the need to trim a little FO budget, you can start with the Ambassadors' Receptions. I'd rather the UK be on the little people's map of this world, than on the greedy, corrupt, war-hungry, powerscum's map of the world.
The FO could also save a few bob by not colluding with the US in assassinations, coups and other wet ops.
Another vote for BBC World Service
There are parts of the world where the World Service is the only way of getting a reasonable and moderately unbiased view on the news. This is a situation lost on most of us who live in Western democracies with FOI laws and investigative journalism.
I've lived and worked in countries where the Beeb is the only link to what's actually happening in the country I'm in due to local censorship of the news and internet.
Long may it reign.
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