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This Practice Note deals with the Public Bodies Act 2011 (PBA 2011) and the contractual implications that need to be considered if a public body or business is affected by it.
On 14 October 2010, Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office stated in a written ministerial statement that ‘the landscape for public bodies needs radical reform to increase transparency and accountability, to cut out duplication of activity, and to discontinue activities which are simply no longer needed.’
To this end, the PBA 2011 received Royal Assent on 14 December 2011. It is designed to allow the government to ‘simplify the public bodies landscape’ by, among other things, abolishing so-called quangos (ie quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations). Quangos include non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), a term commonly used by the government.
The PBA 2011 is an enabling Act which gives ministers the power (by secondary legislation) to:
abolish any of the public bodies set out in Schedule 1 to the PBA 2011
merge any of the public bodies set out in Schedule 2 to the PBA 2011
modify the constitutional arrangements of any of the public bodies set out in Schedule 3 to the PBA 2011
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