Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

WELSH QUANGOS CONTROL£2.3 BILLION

  • Comment
There are nearly 350 quangos in Wales, spending more than£2 billion of public money, according to the Council of W...
There are nearly 350 quangos in Wales, spending more than £2 billion of public money, according to the Council of Welsh Districts.

In a report to its annual meeting, the CWD identifies a wide range of bodies operating specifically for Wales, from executive bodies such as the Welsh Development Agency to advisory bodies and tribunals.

Their combined budget was £2.3bn in 1992-93.

Council representation on quangos is low, the report found. Among major bodies such as the Countryside Commission, the Land Authority for Wales and the Sports Council for Wales, only 15% of members are councillors.

The CWD has a 'fundamental dilemma' in its relationship with quangos. Councils may feel 'CWD involvement adds only a bogus veneer of democratic legitimacy' to a quango. In other cases, council involvement may be the only way to make the quango respond to the community.

The report highlights the lack of accountability. Only a few quangos are subject to ombudsman or public audit scrutiny. Local government has a responsibility to take on and foster the scrutiny role, it says.

Councils must act to reverse the decline in democratic accountability, the report says.

At local level, councils should develop strategies to monitor quangos, and the CWD should hold a central register of such information.

At national level, the report recommends:

All Welsh public bodies to produce annual reports

The ombudsman to cover more quangos

All national Welsh quangos to have monitoring officers

Appointments to be made fairer and more open and the number of jobs held by any one individual to be limited

Elections to some quango boards and increased council representation on national boards.

In the long run, a Welsh Assembly will impose democratic control over quangos.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.