Thursday, October 16, 2008
As we've blogged many times, the £200m pa Audit Commission is a complete and utter waste of taxpayers' money (eg see here and here).
Supposedly, its job is to scrutinise local councils, NHS hospitals, and other local public sector bodies, and point out where they're wasting our cash. Which task it conducts through a vast array of detailed analyses and reports.
In practice, it's yet another box-ticking quango. Its sheaves of forms and reports are largely self-assessment, and local bureaucrats are now fully adept at filling them in correctly. They mean virtually nothing.
Worse, the AC reports not to local taxpayers and their elected representatives, but to central government. Just like in some classic Russian play, they are bungling government inspectors sent out by the commissars in a vague attempt to keep the provincials in line.
Now, the flaming limit - we've just learned these guardians of financial probity had £10m deposited with the busted Icelandic banks. These low-grade clowns aren't even capable of understanding the clear warnings spelled out in the Daily Mail financial pages 7 months ago.
Mr Meldrew couldn't believe it.
We can believe it only too easily. And we say to George, write this down in your notebook, George, because it's another £200m pa you can save.
And another thing - while you're at it, take due note of today's devastating National Audit Office Report on our old friends at the £5bn pa Department for International Development. The NAO confirms DfID is wasting many millions of our cash on half-baked "development" programmes which are poorly targeted and grossly mismanaged.
Which will come as no surprise to BOM readers, where we've blogged the grotesque waste in our aid spending many times (start here). It needs a serious pruning.