MPs have continued to heap criticism on the Money Advice Service (MAS), with questions being raised about the lack of focus in its role.
Appearing before MPs on a Treasury Select Committee sub-committee, Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), was asked today about her views on the MAS.
Opening with a question about what Guy thought the role of the MAS was, Conservative MP Jesse Norman said: "As far as I can see it is a quango in search of a role."
Although the CAB has been supportive of the existence and aims of the MAS, Guy suggested its had not correctly prioritised its budget, with about £20m going on marketing.
"The fundamental issue is the focus of the MAS, which is building a new brand," she said. "Our view is that that's not the right focus."
Instead, she suggested the MAS should be doing more to help expand capacity within existing services, such as CAB.
George Mudie MP also railed against the organisation, echoing Norman's criticisms.
He said: "What on earth do they do? The starting point was that they were going to coordinate and there is an acceptance that some coordination would be useful.
"But they don't seem to have set their stall out to coordinate [advice] and they seem to be talking about a direct service for themselves."
The committee launched its inquiry into the MAS in May, to find out if it is meeting its core statutory objectives, assess the accountability mechanisms in place at the organisation and to determine the effectiveness of its expenditure on staff and other resources.
Criticisms from MPs have included the lack of detail in its financial plans, the disruptive impact it has had on the industry and the remuneration of outgoing chief executive Tony Hobman.
Former financial secretary Mark Hoban had been set to appear alongside Guy today, in what would have been the final evidence session in this inquiry.
However, following the government reshuffle the arrival of Greg Clark into the role yesterday, the appearance of the financial secretary has been delayed.
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