Salaries of quango bosses published
The six-figure salaries of 160 bosses of taxpayer-supported quangos have been published in the latest part of a Government transparency drive.
Pay packages for every employee of non-departmental public bodies earning over £150,000 have been put online by the Cabinet Office.
The highest sum listed was the £394,999 paid to Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins - despite fears of a possible squeeze on the budget for the London 2012 Games.
And he was only one of eight senior figures at the London 2012 body earning in excess of £200,000 a year, according to the list. Among other sizeable deals enjoyed by the 160 employees named was £369,999 for Tony Fountain, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. And that excluded a £70,810 allowance in lieu of pension or £91,000 "assistance with relocation costs", the Cabinet Office data showed.
Lord Mogg, the chairman of energy regulator Ofgem, gets £214,999 a year for a three-day week. He is one of dozens earning more than £200,000, including the heads of bodies such as the Medical Research Council, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
Other notable figures whose pay was published were those of the heads of Britain's secret intelligence and security services. MI6 chief Sir John Sawers gets £169,999 and Jonathan Evans, director general of MI5, earns £159,999. Andrew Dillon, chief executive of drugs regulator the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), was shown to earn up to £184,999.
Museum directors were also featured on the list, with The Tate's Sir Nicholas Serota taking home up to £164,999 and Neil MacGregor, of the British Museum, earning £179,999. Dame Suzi Leather, who chairs the Charity Commission for England and Wales, gets £104,999. The coalition Government is committed to reducing the number of quangos. The latest list follows the naming last month of 172 Whitehall civil servants earning over £150,000 and special advisers earning more than £58,200.
And it hopes to extend the openness drive to include, by later this year, most senior civil servants and quango officials with salaries higher than £58,200.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who also chairs the new Public Sector Transparency Board, said: "Yet again we have shown we are absolutely committed to acting quickly on pledges in our Coalition Agreement to release information that will allow everyone to hold their politicians and public bodies to account. The release, along with previous publications listing high-earning civil servants and salaries of special advisers, shows that transparency is fast becoming an integral part of everything we do."
Mark Wallace, campaign director of the TaxPayers' Alliance which has produced its own lists of quango chiefs' pay, welcomed the latest publication. "It's great that the Government have taken up our transparency proposals and published this data. It is clear from the list that many quangocrats are overpaid, and there is plenty of scope for large savings. Spending must be cut and that process should start at the top."