While researching the Information Policy essay, I visited the MLA website and was curious to find that there seemed to be no mention of the fact that it is soon to be abolished by the current government . After a quick search, I discovered www.theyworkforyou.com, a website that keeps tabs on debates in Parliament.
Through this I pulled up a series of responses from Ed Vaizey on questions about how the decision on abolishing the MLA was made.
Here are some choice answers from Edward Vaizey.
“The decision to abolish the MLA was made with reference to these previous reviews and within the context of the Government review of public bodies which aims to increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies.”
“The decision to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council was taken as part of the Government’s review of public bodies which aims to increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies. The decision was taken on the basis that the potential for cost savings outweighed the potential liabilities. Transferring museums and libraries functions to Arts Council England will ensure work is delivered in a more efficient way with a reduction in back office functions.”
“No formal consultation took place prior to the decision to abolish of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly meet representatives from a wide range of cultural organisations and within the context of these meetings the role and structure of organisations in the cultural sector, including the MLA, has been discussed on a number of occasions.”
Is it not ironic that Vaizey speaks of abolishing the MLA in order to ‘improve transparency and accountability’ then states that the decision to abolish was not made on the back of a formal consultation?
Does he have any facts to prove that abolishing the MLA will be “value for money” and when he says “value” what does he mean exactly?