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Anderson calls for comprehensive review of Quangoes

20 August, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) in response to information supplied by the Department of Finance and Personnel on the cost of Quangoes and other publicly funded bodies said:

“This information was disclosed following a question that I submitted to the Finance Minister. The figures provided show the need for a comprehensive review of the make-up and necessity of these bodies. My primary concern involves their often unaccountable nature. There is a general perception that they have for too long been used as a means of political patronage. There are far too many and the remuneration received by those sitting on them clearly does not reflect value for money. I believe that there are no proper scrutiny mechanisms in place to evaluate their usefulness.

“A cursory look at their make-up shows a number of individuals sitting on several of these bodies at a cost of several hundred pounds plus expenses per meeting per quango. I believe that many of these bodies could be amalgamated or eliminated all together saving substantial funding that could be put to more productive use.

“It must also be pointed out that the proliferation of these quangoes occurred during the period of Direct Rule when there was no democratic accountability. The functions of these bodies should now be brought under democratic accountability.

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