The Quango Awards Part I

02 May 2010 | 1 Comments

Quango investigation highlights further government misspending

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to THE QUANGO AWARDS brought to you by Yahoo! and Don’t Panic. At a time when we face biggest deficit ever recorded in peacetime and 2010 looks set to be a great year for swingeing cuts in vital services, we have come together to celebrate bureaucratic pointlessness, waste and mismanagement in all its glory.

With each of them scrambling to find out where these cuts are going to come from we have a suggestion for where they can start... the half a billion pounds the NPIA is costing us every year.

First up is the The National Policing Improvement Agency…. When NPIA chief exec Peter Neyroud was called before the Home Affairs Select Committee last year to explain what he does with half a billion pound budget, he admitted that despite the impressive salaries of its senior staff the NPIA had spent £71 million pounds of our money on consultants in 2007/08. He then claimed to have reduced that figure to under £19 million between 2008/09. An impressive reduction… were it actually true.

Today, we can reveal from an FOI request that in the NPIA Annual Report and Accounts 2008/09 some amounts, which would have been reported as Consultancy in 2007/08, were included under different headings. The total amount shifted from the ‘consultancy’ heading to other headings amounts to £23,336,000. So, to be precise, that’s a £42 million spend on consultancy by the NPIA in 2008/09.

Neyroud also claimed in Parliament before the Home Affairs Select Committee that ‘every single contractor post is personally approved by me and we work to a very, very significant reduction both in the reliance on contractors and consultants and also on the reasons why we use them.’

But according to the NPIA’s own annual report for 2008-2009, the number of 'temporary and contractors' in their annual report actually goes up from 404 to 445 from 07/08-08/09 and the cost rises from just under £13M to £19.3M.

We can also reveal that the NPIA regularly spends over a million pounds a year on advertising and marketing.

NPIA Advertising and Marketing expenditure:







2009-10 (forecasted outturn)


What a fabulously pointless waste of our money! How many more officers on the beat could we have had for that? Applause please!

Also up for special mention are the NPIA’s Director of Operations Tom McArthur who claimed £22,087.71 on expenses between 2007 and 2009 and Gavin McKinnon, Head of Corporate & Public Affairs who claimed £18, 739.10 over the same period. How are these expenses claims ‘helping to improve the way policing works’?

Why is the head of a quango with a half billion pound budget seemingly giving misinformation in Parliament? Why is this organisation, tasked with ‘helping to improve the way policing works’ trying to underplay this quite breathtaking waste at a time when cuts in are expected across all the forces. Funnily, as part of their efforts to improve policing, the NPIA recently wrote a paper suggesting cutting police numbers cut by 28,000 and having forces made up of 50% uniformed staff and 50% civilian staff in order to achieve savings in the police force of £545 million………… which is exactly the budget of the NPIA.


  • t2im
    Mon 24 - May - 2010, 22:17
    Bonfire of the Quangos is about to start. Osborne's axe has been swung.


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