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details of the uk quango hit list October 14, 2010

Posted by Bradley in : governance , trackback

The list is here. The press release describes the rationale for the new approach, including the abolition of many arm’s length or non-departmental public bodies as being:

to radically increase the transparency and accountability of all public services.

One might ask how accountability is furthered by bringing functions back into a government which requires the support of people who renege on election pledges to remain in power.

The press release states that bodies which are not abolished are those which perform technical functions, require political impartiality, or need to act independently to establish facts. The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (founded 1992) is safe on grounds of impartiality (?) while National Tenant Voice has to find its own way in the wilderness. There are other examples of undoing what has happened over the last dew years. For example, the Security Industry Authority established under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 is disappearing as part of a “Phased transition to new regulatory regime”.

There are to be mergers. For example, the Competition Commission is to merge with the OFT although there seem to be some uncertainties about what happens to consumer protection after the merger (“Government will consult in the New Year on a merger of OFT’s competition functions with the Competition Commission and transfer of consumer and enforcement functions”). And the Gambling Commission, which warns people of the dangers of gambling is to be merged with the National Lottery Commission which doesn’t, except to warn people of scams which pretend to be connected to the (good) National Lottery (“Ensuring a fair Lottery for the nation £25 billion for good causes £37 billion in prizes).

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