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Quangos

Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations, or as they are more recently referred to, non-departmental public bodies (NDPB), wield a great deal of power over the private lives of the British public and yet are unelected and unaccountable. Officially there are nearly 900 such bodies in existence and the numbers are rising, costing the British taxpayer £billions; however, unofficial figures put the number well in excess of 2000.

Very little is known about these organisations or indeed the thousands of people they employ, some of whom receive six figure salaries and huge bonuses and, given that some of these executives work only a few days a week, makes the whole affair even more difficult for the public to swallow. It is estimated that over the last six years it has cost the taxpayer over £100m to pay for redundancies and other changes within the Learning and Skills Council alone.

One of the things many people find hard to understand is the provision of a bonus scheme within a governmental, or in this case, non-governmental agency. Surely such schemes are usually associated with private industry where performance can be measured in terms of output or profit. Is it right that taxpayer’s money should be used in this way; after all, isn’t it a fundamental principle of any employment contract that an employee will always perform to the highest level based on their qualifications and experience?

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© Campaign for Independent Politicians 2008

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