Plans to scrap or reform 192 quangos, including the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the Pensions Ombudsman (PO) and the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman (PPFO), has been ‘botched' according to MPs.
The government has proposed to merge the PO and the PPFO and significantly reduce funding to the FRC, whilst around 200 other quangos will be scrapped or brought under central or local government control.
However, the quango bonfire has led to badly drafted legislation, will cost more than it saves and will fail to improve accountability, according to a report published today by the Public Administration Committee (PASC).
The cross-party committee, chaired by Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, says the government must examine what these quangos are supposed to do, rather than just how they operate, in order to make real savings.
The report suggests transferring the functions of many of the quangos to charities in order to deliver the Big Society agenda.
"The whole process was rushed and poorly handled and should have been thought through a lot more," says Jenkin.
"This was a fantastic opportunity to help build the Big Society and save money at the same time, but it has been botched."
PASC says government assessment of the quangos "may have seemed superficially plausible at the outset, but they are hopelessly unclear".
The committee adds there was no system of consultation with the quangos or the public over the issue. It says the Bill also lacks safeguards to prevent the misuse of powers by ministers.
The report calls for the government to re-examine each quango's role.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the process for culling quangos was ‘not perfect' but refused to admit it had been ‘botched'.
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