Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Another Extravagant Quango




Fancy attending an 'embed a culture of respect' course or a course to inspire public sector managers? No? What about a little life-coaching? We can all do with a few lessons in how to cope with life - if that's what it means - particularly if it's in some pleasant surroundings.

If any of the above appeals to you join the staff of the Audit Commission. In case anyone is unaware the Audit Commission is an independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local public services to deliver better outcomes for everyone (taken from their website).

This quango wasted more than £3 million in one year on life coaches, hotels and driving lessons for its staff.

Officials at the Audit Commission spent tens of thousands with training firms that use techniques such as firewalking and weekend retreats.

In the year 2008-09 alone, it arranged events for staff and fellow public-sector workers in 30 four-star hotels. The most expensive event was a two-day conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole which cost nearly £250,000.

Isn't it time such quangos were dissolved? The AC is presented as an independent watchdog but how can it be independent when it's funded by taxpayers' money? It's a government department which tells other government organisations where they spent money unwisely.

Let's trust Danny Alexander will get his teeth into this one. Of course the unions will rant about redundancies. They don't concern me. After all, with so many staff having had life-coaching training, those who lose their jobs will surely have the motivation to set up in business for themselves.

That leads me to wonder how many of them would have skills for which anyone, other than the public sector, would be willing to pay.


14 comments:

Witterings From Witney said...

Hear Hear SR. From personal experience, when they 'check' Housing Associations it is purely a 'box-ticking' exercise - which even a monkey could do and in their case does!

subrosa said...

Do you think they would employ us WFW? Surely they should - they can't be ageist can they?

I could do with a few days learning life skills. Doesn't it make you wonder how our public servants coped before such courses took them to such dizzy heights.

JRB said...

Many years ago there was a TV series called ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’; there was a famous catchphrase from one of its characters, Yosser Hughes, which was - ‘Geesa’job’.

So if the Audit Commission, or any other overly remunerated quango, is reading – ‘Geesa’job’

Demetrius said...

Once the AC was a modest part of government charged with checking the accounts and reporting and not much else. Then it was turned into another all bells and whistles New Labour fiasco. Back to basics as someone once said.

Oldrightie said...

"Then it was turned into another all bells and whistles New Labour fiasco."
So embedded is this leftover culture from 13 years of madness, it will take a very long time to change. Certainly far longer than we have to feel the pain of recession.

subrosa said...

I remember that series so well John. It was gripping television.

Wouldn't it be interesting if 2000 in the blogosphere applied to work there and we all cited the same reasons? CCs if our applications to every MP of course!

subrosa said...

Demetrius, didn't it make its findings very public at one time? If I recall any failings were headlined in all newspapers.

subrosa said...

The quangos need a good root out OR. Are the ConDems brave enough I wonder.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Hear hear. Sack the lot.

Antisthenes said...

I do hear or read about them castigating some government body or another with words like "not value for money" and "not fit for purpose". So I thought they were one quango that could justify their existence except I noted no action has ever taken based on their reports so that is one strike against them. Now your revelation that they are just another bunch of tax payers money wasters is strike two. Strike three is now that the government has decided to publish everything government and government bodies do and spend they will be duplicating what the public can now do for free and probably better.

subrosa said...

Completely agree Mark. Let them try to make a decent living in the real world like most of us.

subrosa said...

Exactly Antisthenes.

Joe Public said...

Who watches the watchers? Who audits the Audit Commission?

subrosa said...

Exactly Joe. They're supposed to report publicly to government and we, as the electorate, are expected to protest if we don't like what we hear.

The occasional newspaper article doesn't bring anything to the attention of the public does it?

Related Posts with Thumbnails