Members of the board 2020


Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations (quangos) are a mixture of executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and public corporations which hold significant responsibilities over areas of policy that affect taxpayers in their everyday lives. Last year, they cost a total of £206 billion.[1] Their authority ranges from bodies which provide expert advice to government, such as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), to operating major parts of public services with budgets worth billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, like NHS England.

The majority of public appointees, who lead these organisations, face no form of public scrutiny at all before taking up their post. This means the individuals themselves, their views and visions for the quangos they lead often remain unknown to taxpayers, and are often unrepresentative of the general public.[2]

This research paper details those who sat on quango boards in the latest year for which full data is available and those who sat on multiple boards in the same year. Where available, data on meeting attendance, remuneration, allowances and honorariums has also been included.

Click here to read the research paper.

Key findings

  • There were at least 4,345 positions on the boards of quangos in 2018-19. At the same time, the total number of staff in quangos had reached 299,171.[3]

  • There were at least 319 quango board members who sat on more than one board in 2018-19: one person sat on five boards, 11 on four boards, 47 on three boards, 260 on two boards and 3,635 on one board.

  • Shrinivas Honap sat on the largest number of quango boards in 2018-19 having membership of five. These included being a member or non-executive director for: the British Transport Authority, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Low Level Waste Repository Ltd, UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Office of the Public Guardian. His total remuneration for holding these positions during 2018-19 was £60,000. This included £1,200 in allowances.

  • Jonathan Baume sat on four boards in 2018-19. These included being a member of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, Criminal Cases Review Commission, Health and Safety Executive and Office for Nuclear Regulation. He missed 30 per cent of meetings held in 2018-19. However, he continued to receive total remuneration of £20,000 for his services in 2018-19. This included £1,000 in benefits.

  • Susan Johnson OBE sat on four quango boards in 2018-19. These included being a member of the Health and Safety Executive, Planning Inspectorate and Sports Ground Safety Authority, as well as being a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. For these positions during 2018-19 she received total remuneration of £48,992. This included £2,072 in benefits.

  • Kathryn Cearns OBE sat on four quango boards in 2018-19. These included being a member of the board for Companies House, Highways England and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. She was also Chair of the Office for Tax Simplification. For holding these positions she received total remuneration of £45,639.

  • Remuneration of all quango board members in 2018-19 totalled at least £123,544,475.

  • The median average remuneration for a non-executive board member in 2018-19 was £17,500.

  • The total value of benefits for individuals who sat on at least three boards in 2018-19, was £56,317. This included a £400 “reading allowance” for Caroline Corby for her role as a member of the Architects Registration Board.

  • Andrew Flanagan received £3,500 in benefits in 2018-19. These payments were for the provision of a lease car.

  • Sharmila Nebhrajani OBE received £3,300 in benefit as chief executive of Wilton Park. This was the estimated benefit for her receiving a rent free cottage in the grounds of Wiston House.

  • Of the 17,600 board meetings in 2018-19, more than one in ten (1,884) were missed.


Click here to see the full dataset


[1] Cabinet Office, Public Bodies 2019, 2020.

[2] TaxPayers’ Alliance, Briefing: public appointments, January 2020.

[3] Cabinet Office, Public Bodies 2019, 2020.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay