Four Department for Business quangos ‘will be abolished’

Business secretary Vince Cable has announced the next step in cutting the number of Department for Business quangos with the abolition of four organisations.

The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) policy, Simplifying International Trade (SITPRO) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Body (WAB) will all close in the next year. The British Shipbuilders Corporation will be abolished next year.

The functions of SABIP will pass to the Intellectual Property Office and the functions carried out by the remaining organisations will be passed to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The annual cost of these bodies is said to be £8.62m, which includes the liabilities met by British Shipbuilders. BIS will continue to meet the liabilities of British Shipbuilders, primarily compensation for personal injury.

According to a statement, the announcement comes as part of the government’s commitment to reducing the number and cost of quangos and builds on the 13 public bodies closures that have already been announced.

Cable said: ‘We are absolutely committed to reducing the number and cost of quangos that we no longer need. I have already said that I want to reduce the number of these bodies by a third and we’ve achieved a lot in a short space of time. This is the latest phase of that work.

‘By bringing these functions back into government, we make their activities more accountable and can reduce the considerable administrative costs that they place on the taxpayer.’

Yesterday’s announcement brings the total number of BIS quangos to be abolished or merged or to receive no further funding from the department to 17.

The next phase of streamlining, which is likely to account for the remainder of bodies identified for in-year reform, is expected to be announced in the autumn.