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 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.