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Editor’s blog Friday 24 September 2010: The quango cull: Lansley confuses re-definition with abolition

We already knew quite a lot of this, but this morning's Telegraph list of quangos-for-abolition is already superseded by this longer list from BBC One's The Politics Show.

The BBC cover note states that this is draft, and was dated 26 August.

Nonetheless, it is clearly final as it applies to DH - there are zero still to be decided. It's striking that the DH is to abolish 30 non-departmental public bodies (including those to be privatised) - this is the second-highest total of any department.

We have said it before, and we may as well say it again: most of these bodies are not busy doing nothing. They have real functions, which will have to be done somewhere else in the system.

The seventeen DH NDPBs being abolished and having their functions transferred into DH will also throw an interesting curveball to Liberatin' Lansley's intentions to shrink the Department of Health.

You will remember that launching the White Paper, he told Parliament, "We will reduce the Department of Health's NHS functions, delivering efficiency savings in administration costs. We will rebalance the NHS, reducing management costs by 45% over the next four years, abolishing quangos that do not need to exist, in particular if they do not meet the Government’s three tests for public bodies".

Sticking their functions into the DH isn't really abolition. It's re-definition. And given that transferring functions means TUPE, it won't even save money.