Congratulations to the All Party Public Administration Select Committee led by Bernard Jenkin MP for producing a report. I haven’t seen it yet but the headlines that I have are basically correct – as I explained in the Yorkshire Post a few months ago, this was no bonfire.
Speaking on LBC to Nick Ferrari this morning at around 8.10 a.m. I argued that quangos are right at the heart of the debate about the future of delivering public services. Right now, too many are delivered in a market vacuum by quangos who are under no commercial pressure to perform. The Cabinet Office should look again at this and ask questions like;
Can their functions be outsourced?
Does the said quango duplicate another in the public sector or crowd out an existing or potential one in the private sector?
Can they be relocated to a lower cost location?
To be fair, the real progress of the Coalition Government’s dequangoisation drive has fallen outside of the Cabinet Office’s review – the scrapping of the Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities giving budgetary control to Doctors and Michael Gove’s educations reforms, giving schools more control over their budgets, independently of the education quangocracy.
So it’s time to start again and the Cabinet Office could do worst than produce a full annual NDPB report one place – including those of the devolved administrations – not done since 2006. That was when a 372 pages long report dropped to 26 in 2007.