Lifting lid on our army of quangos

FOR the first time the lid has been lifted on the sprawling network individuals who have been appointed to more than 350 controversial state quangos.

This list reveals bodies about whom little is known despite them, and the directors responsible for them, enjoying budgets provided by hard-pressed taxpayers.

While some quangos are obviously necessary others are forgotten entities populated by relics of political parties.

Crucially the cost of this layer of administration has been kept hidden.

The full extent of the expense claims by these board members is not known, but the Irish Examiner has attempted to detail all of the up-front fees up for grabs.

Many departments considered compiling a member list, or publishing costs, to be too onerous a task. In some cases official lists were clearly outdated.

This census had been drawn from a wide variety of sources. It is the most comprehensive ever account of the network of quangos.

Fine Gael has promised to eliminate 145 of these bodies, but has begun life in office by establishing a handful of new ones.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also admitted defeat in his bid to clear out many members who were aligned to the old administration.

However, that was a commitment made before its overwhelming victory in the polls. Now it can look at how Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and the Progressive Democrats handed over plum estates in Quangoland to those who campaigned for the Government parties over the last two decades.

Will the Government resist the temptation to swap Fianna Fáil, Green Party and Progressive Democrat seats for Fine Gael and Labour Party ones?

* For the full list of quangos please see today’s Irish Examiner or check out our digital edition


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