back to article Bonfire of the quangos begins

The Coalition has released the full list of quasi-governmental organisations which are for the chop. The release of the full list was due at 9.30 but was delayed. The Cabinet Office website and the Central Office of Information were both either unavailable or working creakingly slowly due to interest in the announcement. In …


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  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    Redundancy payments

    "There has been no information released on how much money will actually be saved once the redundancy payments have been made."

    Surely a redundancy payment is a one-off, whereas if a pointless job is propagated is a continual drain?

  2. Red Bren

    Oh please...

    Let OFCOM be on the list...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. irish donkey

    So getting rid of jobs for the boys

    in favour of jobs for jobs for the privately funded boys.

    I wonder how many businesses with links to the Gubermint are lining up in the wings ready to take centre stage and rescue us from....

    answers on a postcard seeing as the website has fallen over

  4. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    No title required

    "The Cabinet Office website, and the full list, is still unavailable at the time of writing."

    They already announced they were getting rid of some government websites, maybe that's one of them?

  5. ocifant

    Savings? If only...

    "There has been no information released on how much money will actually be saved once the redundancy payments have been made."

    Nor on how much it is anticipated will be paid out in unemployment benefit to those so affected. Savings? Forgive me for being cynical, but unless the top people on huge salaries go, there will be no savings.

    1. Dave 3

      Check your sums

      If unemployment benefit is not substantially lower than quango wages, there is something very wrong with the level of unemployment benfit.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Your cynicism.

      "...unless the top people on huge salaries go, there will be no savings."

      You do know what a Quango is, right? It's a way of providing a sinecure to some top people on huge salaries who some minister thinks deserve a pat on the head. Any additional staff you see are there purely to make the job look important.

      I think they have to turn up a couple of times a week and talk bollocks to justify the salary. It's a hard life being a fat-arsed bureaucratic parasite these days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        ... bless yer, while I agree that there's a hell of a lot of chaff, you may be surprised to learn that some of them are actually useful.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    uh oh.

    I guess the DBA's department is on the list.

  7. Harry

    "any quango had to pass three tests:"

    I'd strongly suggest there ought to be a FOURTH test -- are at least 60% of its members annually elected by members of the *PUBLIC*

    We have far too many organisations like OFCOM and ASA. I've no idea how or even *if* their senior staff are elected, but we know judging by their illogical decisions and wrong priorities that most of them are far too highly influenced by the vested interests of the industry concerned and pay little regard to the needs of the end users that they OUGHT to be set up to represent.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "I'd strongly suggest there ought to be a FOURTH test -- are at least 60% of its members annually elected by members of the *PUBLIC*"

      Actually, I believe the whole point of quangos is make decisions without political bias, something your proposal would negate.

      1. Dave 3

        but but but

        Yes, but the point of a 'bonfire of the quangos' is to make those exercising the power of the State, accountable to the voters.

  8. NoSh*tSherlock!

    Idiot design

    Classic example of a web site that regenerates the information for each viewer instead uf publising a simple HTTP page which could then be cached and viewed by millions

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      The best design

      would probably be to query the database once and then cache the results for a predetermined amount of time (e.g. an hour) before requerying.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who will replace the Audit Commission?

    Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Earnst & Young?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Poor IT skills is another angle on this

    Gone through the list and it appears that they used Excel and didnt bother to do a sort on any columns for easy browsing before publishing it!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2)"

    Any learned opinions on running your database on your webserver? I find a busy database tends to hit the disks quite a lot causing iowait which I don't really want on a webserver. I suppose they could be writing to a remote box and then reading from a locally replicated copy. Or maybe they don't write to the database much.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About time too...

    To take but one example : or to get a fuller picture of the nonsense try

    Do we REALLY need nonsense like this?

    Many of these quangos were setup when the UK was basically a controlled market economy - the agriculture nonsense dates from the 1930/40s. What on earth is the point of them? Apart of course from providing the incumbents with £300/day rates (or £48,000 a year, whichever is greater). NB "day rates" are payable if you're there for 30 minutes or more.

    In this instance its farmers who are FORCED to pay (I've yet to find one who thinks its value for money), with most of the rest of them its the average taxpayer funding non-jobs for the boys.

    If we're looking for personal favourites to get the chop then mine is the Carbon Trust. You'd be pushed to find a bigger bunch of self-serving wankers anywhere. Regardless of your views on global warming this lot serve no purpose at all!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The Tories' historic and apparent hatred of funding anything cultural

      I'm sure there's a lot of deadwood to cut, BUT, flicking through the list, my eye was caught by the Railway Heritage Committee. 'What did they do?', I wondered.

      Well, it seems they go about saving records, objects and sites, placing them into existing collections where possible, arranging their protection, etc.

      I find such stuff interesting, so am glad that it has been getting saved, and, being descended from someone working on building them in the 1800s, am quite intrigued by the records being available via record offices, family history sites or whatever as well.

      It is my opinion that the comment in the document displays a willful ignorance of the rail sectors distinctive nature and needs that betrays a sneering disdain. "No equivalent protection applies to the heritage items of any other transport sector."

      WTF? Railway stations plus infrastucture > airports / boatyards, so of course there's more to require protection!

      Yes, an awful lot of shite being flushed away too, but the Tories still have no souls.

  14. Rogerborg

    Shouldn't be any redundancy payments

    Since quangos (like ACPO) tend to be plcs. They just get a regular taxpayer-provided bucket to split among the piggies. So just turn off the swill-hose, and tell them to go Cheney themselves: paying "redundancy" (ha!) is the "independent" plcs' problem, not the taxpayers any more.

    Worse case, the plcs fold without any payout and the troughers come snuffling around for their statutory payments. Oh DEAR, that's capped at (about) £380 per full year of "employment", regardless of how much they were rolling in previously. And that's the last swill for you, porker. Go get a real job.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I've been working for one of the quangos on this list for the last 9 years, busting my a$$ trying to do a decent job for a meagre wage. The same quango that recently managed to save npower customers 70 million quid, while working on a core budget of only 5, that campaigns on behalf of every consumer in the UK where no other organisation will.

      I'm not saying there aren't quangos out there with where the upper brass have their noses in the trough, but come on dude, for every one of them, there is a hundred people who are trying to get by on a low to average wage. Personally, in the 9 years I've been there and I've only just managed to save enough for a deposit on a flat.

      This is a tough time for a lot of us who are now going to have to find alternative employment - ignorant comments like yours really don't help :|

  15. eJ2095


    Trim that Fat

  16. Anonymous Coward

    I'm really disappointed

    that they are abolishing the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines, I really am.

    In other news; I didn't know Channel 4 was a Quango. You learn something new everyday.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      License fee...

      C4 (and ITV) get a proportion of the license fee.

      Fair enough in the case of C4 (which isn't a "normal" company), but ITV? Heh they ditched their own childrens TV years ago, their news services could best be described as tabloid, so why they get any money is anyone's guess. More ex-westminster snouts in the trough is my guess.

  17. Pyromancer

    OSS for the win!

    Look on the bright side - at least they are running MySQL! Even if they have b0rked it somewhat.

  18. Steven Knox


    Diagram this:

    "In all 481 bodies will be reformed and 192 will be abolished. 118 quangos will be merged into 57 new quangos, 171 will be substantially reformed and 380 will be kept untouched. From a total of 901 bodies, 648 will keep their status once the changes are finished."

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    On the database thing

    Presumably the relevant fields of the database could be set up to wake up the web server and when they change and have the web server rebuild and re-cache its pages.

    Seriously do *any* of these pages need *any* sort of real-time updated fields? No of TV license fee dodgers prosecuted?

  20. GrantB

    Yes Minister

    I am sure that there was a Yes Minister episode on this, that should be compulsory viewing for any new Minister.

    Quangos have been described as being like cockroaches; new governments come in and tend to try and stamp them out. Then they get tangled up for years just trying to figure out what all those hundreds of bodies are, what they do & if they are required. Most they find are impenetrable or well protected by well connected political interest groups. After lots of time & effort they generally kill off a few of the weaker ones, each of which are inevitably replaced within a few years by two more.

    It can be dangerous to kill of seemingly useless Quangos as well. For years small groups doing things like various building standards tick along quietly, seemly doing little other than coming up with arcane industry standards on various obscure topics like timber standards or plumbing qualifications. These get killed off (as they don’t have political clout), then years later you find yourself with things like the multi-billion dollar ‘leaky building’ crisis here in NZ and other countries... or knee deep & crap with people demanding to know how all this went horribly wrong.

    It’s like testing; if testers work well, then quality goes up, they find less defects and to some new PHB, the test dept seems useless. So they get rid of the test dept & then start to find expensive, embarrassing errors creeping in, leading to people demanding better testing... and so the cycle goes. Then of course there are groups like the telephone cleaners...

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