UK Gov dumps more IT advisory bodies

The UK government today announced it will axe a number of advisory bodies, including intellectual property watchdog SABIP and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Body.

The bodies are all associated with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The announcement was made in a statement this morning by Liberal Democrat Vince Cable, Business Secretary in the UK's recently 'elected' coalition government. Dismissing the organisations as "quangos", Cable said that the closures were part of the government's continuing drive to cut costs.

"We are absolutely committed to reducing the number and cost of quangos that we no longer need, Cable said. "I have already said that I want to reduce the number of these bodies by a third and we've achieved a lot in a short space of time. This is the latest phase of that work.

"By bringing these functions back into Government, we make their activities more accountable and can reduce the considerable administrative costs that they place on the taxpayer."

In a statement on the website of the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property policy (SABIP), the government was said to be "very grateful" for the work the organisation had done in advising ministers on patents and other aspects of intellectual property law since its establishment in 2008. Its work will be handed over to the Intellectual Property Office at the BIS.

The WEEE Advisory Body (WAB) guides the government on issues concerning the disposal of tech waste, and the enforcement of the European WEEE directive.

In a letter to electronics producers, retailer and other stakeholders in the group, the BIS official responsible for WAB, Mitchell Leimon, said that the group's functions would be brought directly in-house at the BIS.

He promised to continue WAB's work, saying: "This work will include identifying gaps in the system, for example increasing the levels of small WEEE separately collected, raising the profile of the role the re-use sector can play in the system... and increasing awareness of the options available to business end-users."

Both bodies will close in the next year. More closures are expected in the autumn.