Conservative Manifesto 2010 Change Politics Make Politics More Transparent
We will publish details of the money government spends and the people it employs. People will have a right to government data to make the performance of the state transparent. We will cut the unaccountable quango state and root out waste.
Government has been far too profligate for far too long. billions are wasted each year on pointless bureaucracy and failed projects while taxpayers are left to foot the bill. The explosion of unaccountable quangos, public sector ‘nonjobs’ and costly bureaucracy is an indictment of Labour’s reckless approach to spending other people’s money. once again, it undermines public trust in the political process.
We understand that people want government to be more effective in what it does, and to do it for less money. that means transforming the way the state goes about its business, using decentralisation, accountability and transparency to reduce dramatically the cost of government. and, because sunlight is the best disinfectant, we will bring the operation of government out into the open so that everyone can see whether we are delivering good value for money.
Publish data so the public can hold government to account
Drawing inspiration from administrations around the world which have shown that being transparent can transform the effectiveness of government, we will create a powerful new right to government data, enabling the public to request – and receive – government datasets in an open and standardised format. independent estimates suggest this could provide a £6 billion boost to the UK economy. We will open up Whitehall recruitment by publishing central government job vacancies online, saving costs and increasing transparency.
a Conservative government will bring in new measures to enable the public to scrutinise the government’s accounts to see whether it is providing value for money. all data will be published in an open and standardised format. We will:
• require public bodies to publish online the job titles of every member of staff and the salaries and expenses of senior officials paid more than the lowest salary permissible in Pay band 1 of the Senior Civil Service pay scale, and organograms that include all positions in those bodies;
• require anyone paid more than the Prime minister in the public sector to have their salary signed off by the treasury;
• require senior civil servants to publish online details of expense claims and meetings with lobbyists;
• apply these transparency principles to local government, with the threshold for publication of spending items and contracts set at £500, and for the publication of salaries the same as at the national level; and,
• give councillors the power to vote on large salary packages for unelected council officials.
Curtail the quango state
Under Labour, the quango state has flourished. Government figures show that there are over 700 unelected bodies spending £46 billion every year, but this does not even include the range of advisory bodies, public corporations, taskforces and regional government bodies that have sprung up under Labour. We believe that ministers should be responsible for government policy, not unelected bureaucrats. any quangos that do not perform a technical function or a function that requires political impartiality, or act independently to establish facts, will be abolished. to increase the scrutiny of quangos, we will:
• give Select Committees the right to hold confirmation hearings for major public appointments, including the heads of quangos;
• examine the case for giving Select Committees the power to prevent increases in quango budgets; and,
• ensure that the National Audit Office has full access to the bbC’s accounts. reduce the cost of procurement this government has a dreadful record of managing procurement, with billions of pounds wasted on mismanaged projects. We will tackle wasteful government procurement projects by:
• strengthening the role of the Chief Information Officer to get a grip on government iCt projects;
• introducing a series of changes to iCt procurement to deliver better value for money;
• appointing senior private sector nonexecutives to departmental boards to deliver better value for money;
• publishing in full government contracts for goods and services worth over £25,000; and,
• increasing the accountability of eU spending by publishing details of every UK project that receives over £25,000 of eU funds.
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