Magazine article Art Monthly

Quangoing, Going, Gone

Magazine article Art Monthly

Quangoing, Going, Gone

Article excerpt

The Tories have long promised to abolish many of the UK's non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs or quangos: quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations--ie independent organisations funded by the government). Now that the Tories are in coalition government, they have recently announced their plans for the quangos: over 900 organisations have been examined, with 192 being axed and another 118 merged. This is a fair number, but perhaps rather less than might have been imagined; remember that quango cutting was initially trumpeted as a way to provide the much ballyhooed efficiency savings that, at one point, were going to save the nation from cuts to frontline services.

So, what fate has befallen the arts quangos? NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, is one of the few arts-related organisations to be abolished in its present form: the coalition will seek to establish it as an independent charity with its endowment held in a separate trust. Other arts bodies are to be retained: the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art is to be kept for its technical functions, while the British Council is retained on grounds of impartiality. …

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