The Equality and Human Rights Commission has survived the Government’s quango cuts but many others have been axed or are still under review.
Cabinet minister Francis Maude announced that 192 non-departmental government bodies will be abolished, 118 will be merged and a further 171 are to be substantially reformed.
Some organisations are still under consideration, such as the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). The body, which advises employers, individuals and the Government on employment and skills systems, will be reviewed by the end of the year on its core functions and “the most appropriate organisational model to deliver a simplified skills landscape across the UK”.
Chris Humphries, chief executive of UKCES commented: “The position of the UK Commission is currently under consideration by government … our work around simplifying, streamlining and integrating the UK’s employment and skills systems is directly relevant to this, and we plan to enhance this going forward.”
Maude said in a statement to the Commons that it is unlikely remaining quangos will stay completely unchanged. They will not be allowed to go back to the “old way of working”.
“We recognise that some of these bodies do hugely important and essential work that has to be done at arm’s length from Government, especially when political impartiality, independence or technical expertise is required,” he added.
Duties of some of the abolished organisations will instead be handled by other departments. The Disability Employment Advisory Committee, which is set to be axed, will transfer its advice services on disability employment to Equality 2025, an advisory group of disabled people.
Among those in line to be merged are the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman, which will become a single non-departmental public body.
A Public Bodies Bill will be introduced at a later date to enable the mass changes to quangos to be implemented.
For a full list of the plans for employment-related quangos, see the table below.
|Employment-related public bodies – Government proposals|
|Govt. dept.||Public body||Proposed reforms|
|BIS||UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)||Under consideration – complete review by end of year of core functions and the most appropriate organisational model to deliver a simplified skills landscape across the UK|
|BIS||Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|BIS||Film Industry Training Board||Under consideration – complete consideration by November 2010 of transferring body and functions to private sector status|
|BIS||Higher Education Funding Council for England||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|BIS||Low Pay Commission||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|Office of Manpower Economics||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|CO||Senior Salaries Review Body||Retain – retain on the grounds of impartiality|
|Defra||Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales||No longer an NDPB – abolish and bring agricultural workers under national minimum wage legislation, as previously announced|
|Defra||Agricultural Wages Committees (x15)||No longer an NDPB – abolish bodies and functions, as previously announced|
|Defra||Gangmasters Licensing Authority||Retain – retain on grounds of impartiality|
|DfE||Children’s Workforce Development Council||Under consideration – options being considered with an announcement to be made before the end of 2010|
|DfE||General Teaching Council for England||No longer an NDPB – abolish body as part of the Government’s wider plans to streamline and improve arrangements for tackling underperforming teachers, as previously announced|
|DfE||National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services||Under consideration – options being considered with an announcement to be made before the end of 2010|
|DfE||School Support Staff Negotiating Body||Under consideration – subject to further discussions with employer and union representatives|
|DfE||School Teachers’ Review Body||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires political impartiality|
|DfE||Training and Development Agency for Schools||Under consideration – options being considered with an announcement to be made before the end of 2010|
|DfE||Young People’s Learning Agency||Under consideration – subject to education structural reforms|
|DH||Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence||No longer an NDPB – abolish as an NDPB and make a self-funding body, as previously announced|
|DH||General Social Care Council||No longer an NDPB – abolish and transfer functions to health professions council, as previously announced|
|DH||NHS Pay Review Body||Retain – retain on the grounds of impartiality|
|DH||Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration||Retain – retain on the grounds of impartiality|
|MoJ||Information Commissioner’s Office||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|MoJ||Prison Service Pay Review Body||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a function that requires impartiality|
|HO||National Policing Improvement Agency||No longer an NDPB – currently considering which functions must be delivered nationally and where they should sit in a rationalised national policing landscape, as previously announced|
|HO||Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner||Under consideration – future options, including possible merger, under consideration|
|GEO||Equality and Human Rights Commission||Retain and substantially reform – retain, with better focus on its core regulatory functions and improved use of taxpayers’ money|
|GEO||Women’s National Commission||No longer an NDPB – abolish body and bring core functions into the Government Equalities Office, which will ensure direct ministerial engagement with women and women’s organisations|
|DWP||Disability Employment Advisory Committee||No longer an NDPB – transfer Disability Employment Advice function to Equality 2025|
|DWP||Equality 2025||Retain – the group will now advise on areas previously covered by other bodies on issues affecting disabled people|
|DWP||Health and Safety Executive||Retain – HSE’s functions and expenditure are being scrutinised in the context of the Spending Review and Lord Young’s review of health and safety|
|DWP||Industrial Injuries Advisory Council||Retain – retain on grounds of impartiality|
|DWP||National Employment Savings Trust||Retain – retain on grounds of performing a technical function that should be independent of Government|
|DWP||Pension Protection Fund||Retain – retain on grounds of impartiality|
|DWP||Pensions Ombudsman||Merge – merge with Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman to form a single tribunal NDPB|
|DWP||Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman||Merge – merge with Pensions Ombudsman to form a single tribunal NDPB|
|DWP||The Pensions Regulator||Retain – retain on grounds of impartiality|
|The Pensions Advisory Service||Retain – retain on grounds of impartiality|
NDPB – Non-departmental Public Body; BIS – Department for Business, Innovation & Skills; CO – Cabinet Office; Defra – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; DfE – Department for Education; DH – Department of Health; MoJ – Ministry of Justice; HO – Home Office; GEO – Government Equalities Office; DWP – Department for Work and Pensions.