In its report Reorganising central government bodies, the National Audit Office assesses the effectiveness of the Public Bodies Reform Programme. The Programme, which covers 904 public bodies, proposes the largest restructuring of public bodies in decades. Out of 496 bodies earmarked for merging, substantial reform or outright abolition, the Programme plans to abolish 262. However, only 56 had been abolished by 31 December 2011.
The National Audit Office report considers the Programme’s performance in terms of its stated objectives of increasing accountability and financial savings. It identifies some progress in terms of accountability, with one third of public body expenditure moved into departments or local government. However, its finds that the Public Bodies Reform Programme, so far, is deficient in terms of value for money.
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