Who else remembers the great bonfire of the Quangos? It doesn’t seem too long ago that the government was busy abolishing or privatising as many Quangos (quasi-autonomous governmental organisations) as they could track down. A determined effort to cut back the tangled weeds of bureaucracy that had grown up over decades of government expansion.
However, in recent years this particular garden appears to have gone untended and the weeds seem to be making a comeback!
This week’s ICAEW #chartoftheweek highlights how according to gov.uk there has been a 14% increase in the number of government bodies over the last four years, with the website listing 541 government departments, government agencies and other public bodies, high profile groups, and public corporations in January 2019.
Of course, counting up the number of organisations listed on the main government website is unlikely to give a full picture of what is going on. After all, public bodies can range in size from small advisory committees up to large agencies with multi-billion pound budgets, often containing a number of subsidiary organisations not included in the main list. However, despite that, it does look like that Quangos are making a resurgence, with a range of new bodies set up in the last few years.
As any gardener will tell you, it is important not to leave weeding for too long if you don’t want your garden to become overrun and unmanageable. Time to get the wellies on and head outdoors again?