Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Finance Minister Calls for Greater Control over Quangos

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Finance Minister Calls for Greater Control over Quangos

Article excerpt

Ministers and councillors should have more direct control over quangos and arms-length bodies, Tom McCabe, Scotland's finance minister, has suggested.

McCabe, who is carrying out a wide-ranging review of the public sector, was speaking at the annual conference of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in St Andrews last week.

He said the creation of arm's -length bodies appeared to be based on the concept of breaking out of the traditional civil service structures and creating a 'buffer' between public bodies and ministers.

He added: 'I don't think that works. I came into politics to take decisions... I don't think that's necessarily conducive with continually pushing things away from politicians'

McCabe said there was a 'very considerable possibility' of looking at functions carried out by arms-length bodies and bringing these nearer to democratic control, 'be that at either at ministerial level or at local government level'. …

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