Nolan turns attentions to governor pay

April 19, 1996

Lord Nolan's Committee on Standards in Public Life has denied it is set to call for an end to payments for quango members, including those on the boards of further and higher education funding councils.

The committee this week dismissed claims that its report on public spending bodies, due next month, will say quango members should discharge their responsibilities out of a sense of public service and not be paid.

A spokesman said suggestions in a front-page story in The Guardian last week that Lord Nolan wanted to review the whole basis of quangos were "totally wrong" and confused two separate issues.

The committee had instead been looking closely into whether governors of universities and colleges should be paid, and had already presented its position on quangos last year, he said.

"University and college governors do not get paid at the moment, and the overwhelming weight of evidence is that most people are against them being paid. But that is a separate issue from ministerial bodies.

"We made general observations that pay should be controlled on quangos last year, and we have no plans to come back to that issue," he added.

Members of Britain's further and higher education quangos are paid anything from more than Pounds 100,000 a year to nothing at all, other than expenses, for discharging their duties.

But most receive nominal salaries ranging from just over Pounds 2,000 a year to Pounds 5,000 a year, depending on the size of the body on whose board they sit.

Board members of both the Further and Higher Education Funding Councils for England receive an honorarium of Pounds 4,000 a year, plus expenses. Their Scottish higher education peers receive Pounds 5,000 a year, while Welsh funding council board members in both further education and higher education get Pounds 2,255.

Most board members of the newest quango, the Teacher Training Agency, are paid nothing but their travel expenses. Last financial year Sir Graeme Davies, then HEFCE's chief executive, was paid Pounds 110,000, including pension contributions and relocation costs, while Sir William Stubbs, the FEFCE's chief executive, received Pounds 102,000. Both Brandon Gough and Sir Robert Gunn, the HEFCE and FEFCE chairmen, received Pounds 35,000.

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