Reforms to quangos will deliver millions in savings
- Published on Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:10
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The Department for Communities and Local Government's plan to increase accountability by reducing and reforming its quangos is on course to deliver around £170 million savings Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said today (March 16th)
To coincide with the Government's response to the Public Administration Select Committee's report, the Department is taking the opportunity to update on its own reforms for scaling back its Arms Length Bodies and reducing the running costs of those that remain.
DCLG is reducing the number of departmental Arms Length Bodies from twenty-six to nine. The remaining bodies are putting in place measures to increase efficiency including securing better value for money when buying goods and services and reducing running costs wherever possible. Taken together, it is anticipated that around £170 million will be saved from DCLG's budgets by 2014-15 with a further £60 million saved from the budget for Local Government spending.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
"We are scaling back the quango state, increasing accountability over decision making and in the process saving the taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds. By streamlining the layers of bureaucracy we will not only make government more effective but also more efficient."
It has been estimated that the disbanding of the Audit Commission will save the taxpayer over £50 million a year. This will include saving the central and corporate costs of the Audit Commission, currently paid for by the Commission's fees including a surcharge on audits, including those by private firms. In addition, councils will be able to appoint their own independent external auditors from a more competitive and open market among audit firms, reducing costs.
In July last year the Department for Communities and Local Government announced the closure of the eight Government Offices for the regions across England. The measures are central to the Government's wider aims of transferring power from central government to councils and communities and the closure is expected to deliver savings of up to £200 million over the spending review period. These figures are in addition to the anticipated savings from the Arms Length Body reforms.
As well as changes to Departmental quangos DCLG is also committed to cutting out waste, reducing overheads and increasing efficiency at the centre.
The commitment to saving taxpayers money is supported by the monthly publishing of all spending over £500 online monthly. This is helping to ensure that both the Department and its quangos operate as transparently and economically as possible.