As part of a major shake-up of public sector organizations, it has recently been announced in the Public Sector Reforms List that hundreds of Quangos are to be axed, merged or reformed.

Some bodies will be abolished and their functions ended, organizations deemed ‘under review’ may be devolved, transferred, or a even given a new status possibly that of a charity or a private firm.

A massive 418 non-departmental public bodies will be reformed, of which 192 to be abolished, in an overhaul designed to “increase the transparency and accountability of all public services”

Ministers claimed that the reforms aim to produce a government which operates at a more efficient level.

Of the few firms that have survived the cuts, many have been HR related organizations. The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) an organization which aims to improve organizations and working life through better employment relation have been given the go ahead to retain function within the public sector on ‘grounds of performing a function which requires impartiality.

An ACAS spokesperson said: “We provide a very significant return on taxpayers’ investment. We have the support of all sides of industry and we will be an important source of help towards economic recovery.”

The Equality and Human Rights Committee has also been allowed to retain its current position and function within the public sector but plans for improvements are in the pipeline, as the government aim to better focus on its core regulatory functions.

The Disability Employment Advisory Committee has been absolved but the original function of the organisation has been transferred to Equality 2025 which specialises in equality for people with disabilities.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the plans would save money but that the main aim was to “increase accountability”.

“We know that for a long time there has been a huge hunger for change. People have been fed up with the old way of doing business, where the ministers they voted for could often avoid taking responsibility for difficult and tough decisions by creating or hiding behind one of these quangos,” said Maude.

“Today’s announcement means that many important and essential functions will be brought back into departments, meaning the line of accountability will run right up to the very top where it always should have been.”

Also Commenting on the announcement, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

‘Of course over time some quangos come to the end of their useful life, just as new ones are needed.

‘But today’s quangos cull is neither about efficiency or even saving money as Ministers seem very vague about the finances, despite the job losses involved.
‘Instead they want to reduce democratic accountability, get rid of bodies that stand up for ordinary people against Government or business excess, and centralise power in Whitehall.

‘When independent bodies give public advice to Ministers, they have to explain why if they reject it. With no independence or transparency, corporate lobbyists will be cracking open the champagne today.

‘The politics is simple. Today’s move manages to both shrink the state and reduce its democratic accountability.’

The cull in public bodies has been imminent ever since the government announced plans for major budget cuts, the firms absolved are those deemed inefficient and unnecessary.

Many of the survivors were HR related, a list of which can be found below:

  • NHS Pay Review Body
  • Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration
  • Armed Forces Pay Review Body
  • Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation
  • National Employer Advisory Board
  • Health and Safety Executive>R
  • National Employment Savings Trust