Reinventing quangos

Enda & Co plan the "abolition" of 145 quangos. Image via Fine Gael Flikr account

Fine Gael claim that their plan for Reinventing Government will lead to “the abolition of 145 state bodies and companies”. On their Flickr account, they put it more bluntly: Fine Gael will “abolish 145 quangos“.

So I decided to have a closer look at the list, which can be found at Appendix One of Reinventing Government.

The first thing that strikes me is the word “abolish” doesn’t appear that often. Most quangos are “merged”. A few are “closed” or “discontinued”.

For the sake of variety, one is “absorbed”, two are “amalgamated”. I’m not sure how that’s different from “merged”.

Very few are gone. VECs are rationalised, not abolished. Regional authorities and country enterprise boards are gone. Those two cuts account for 57 of the 145.

Some quangos are reabsorbed into the civil service. No more directors expenses, but probably no redundancies among people doing the actual work.

Most mergers mean two or more quangos combining to create a new quango. No doubt with a new board, new logo, new website, but again, probably no redundancies.

I count 41 new quangos after the reorganisation (21 if you exclude the VECs). Is this a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic?

Enda & Co plan the "abolition" of 145 quangos. Image via Fine Gael Flikr account

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.


  1. Good questions there. And an observation from this end – the CEB’s are destined to be brought into local authorities.

    I am not clear if there could be a less suitable place for them. While the initial staff emerged from the County Councils in the first place an entrepreneur is not going to be best served by turning up at Reception where the choice is “Water treatment, Housing, Motor tax or Small business supports” It just does not fit 🙁


  2. FG Are just going to add another 30,000 people to the dole register. can they not see that public servants are not the same as civil servants? public servants do not have the same job protection as civil servants, and its clear that FG cant and wont take on the civil servants…. i give this government 18 months, and then its back to the poll for a real election…. FF got the beating of a life time, and i think its time for a more left wing governing power in this little country of ours…. who in the hell needs a bunch of right wing ego’s blabbing on about rubbish that no one cares about anyway. run the country, and get up off your arses and do some real work for a change….

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