The mergers will see 118 bodies reduced to 57
A total of 192 quangos are to be scrapped under new plans set out by the Government.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said a further 118 bodies would be merged and another 171 "substantially" reformed in the long-awaited "bonfire of the quangos".
Mr Maude said the changes would usher in a "new era of accountability" in government. In all, the total number of quangos will be cut from 901 to 648, with the future of 40 bodies still under consideration.
"We know that for a long time there has been a huge hunger for change," Mr Maude said. "People have been fed-up with the old way of doing business, where the ministers they voted for could often avoid taking responsibility for difficult and tough decisions by creating or hiding behind one of these quangos. Today's announcement means that many important and essential functions will be brought back into departments, meaning the line of accountability will run right up to the very top, where it always should have been."
Among the bodies to be axed are the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Renewable Fuels Agency and the Appointments Commission, which will all have their functions taken on by Government departments.
Enabling organisations such as the Design Council and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts will be turned into charities, while the work of the development corporations will be turned over to local government.
The mergers - which will see 118 bodies reduced to 57 - include the amalgamation of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission into a single competition and market authority.
Bodies facing major reform include the Environment Agency and the Homes and Communities Agency, which will have their work "streamlined".
Mr Maude said he would be introducing a Public Bodies Bill to implement the changes.
The figures include the abolition of a number of quangos which had already been announced, the regional development agencies and the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency.
By The Press Association
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