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Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization. An organization, which itself is not part of the government, to which the government has given a large degree of power, as a regulator or in another capacity. A prominent example is the Water Services Regulation Authority, which regulates sewage in the UK, among other things. However, it is not part of the government. The term is most common in the British Isles.

quango (quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organization)

an executive body which is responsible for overseeing a designated area of public sector activities and spending.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the debate, Independent councillor Philip Evans, Conwy's Cabinet member for governance and regulation, asked: "Have Assembly Members asked how many quangos the Welsh Assembly has set up?
FORTY-three quango executives in Scotland are paid more than First Minister Alex Salmond according to Reform Scotland.
The Coalition government vowed to cut government waste by axing 192 quangos, following a review of 901 bodies, 18 months ago, a pledge which became known as the 'bonfire of the quangos'.
We are more transparent about quangos and who works for them than any Government before.
In many cases these quangos hinder instead of help citizens and businesses by adding unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape.
Quangos have reportedly spent more than 3,000 pounds on skiing and skiwear in just three years.
Other quangos axed include the Advisory Committees on Organic Standards, Packaging and Pesticides.
But most Governments eventually discover that arms-length bodies are quite useful ways of taking tough decisions out of political hands, and thus end up creating new quangos.
People have been fed up with the old way of doing business, where the people they voted for could often avoid taking responsibility for difficult and tough decisions by creating or hiding behind one of these quangos.
The government's announcement that it will slash 192 quangos, costing thousands of jobs, is "worrying", says West Midlands Friends of the Earth.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the work of the quangos would be taken over by Government departments, making them more accountable and reducing administrative costs.
He said there could be more than 1,000 quangos operating in Britain today: "This growth in the number of quangos, and in the scope of their influence, raises important questions for our democracy and politics - questions of accountability, now vital in the light of the damaged trust in our political system, questions about public spending control, now vital in the light of the debt crisis; and questions relating to the effectiveness of politics in addressing the key social problems that give people such great concern.