U.K. Public-Sector CIO Has $600K Salary: QuangoGate?? - InformationWeek
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8/4/2009
12:25 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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U.K. Public-Sector CIO Has $600K Salary: QuangoGate??

A mild-mannered public-sector CIO in the U.K. has found himself at the center of a national controversy over excessive pay for civil servants because he makes almost twice as much as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and flies back and forth weekly between his office in London and his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, with the taxpayers footing his travel costs and London accommodations. Welcome to QuangoGate!

A mild-mannered public-sector CIO in the U.K. has found himself at the center of a national controversy over excessive pay for civil servants because he makes almost twice as much as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and flies back and forth weekly between his office in London and his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, with the taxpayers footing his travel costs and London accommodations. Welcome to QuangoGate!Mike Mackay is CIO of the United Kingdom's Youth Justice Board, where he's in charge of creating a network that "will allow England's and Wales' 157 Youth Offending Teams to share details of their clients," reports the London Daily Mail. The article notes that Mackay has been paid about $1.8 million in the three years he's held that spot.

Today's print version of the Daily Mail carried a big story about Mackay and his plentiful pay package under the headline, "Quango Queen who earns more than the Prime Minister." And no, "quango" is not British slang for CIO; rather, it's an acronym for "quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization."

And since Mackay's Youth Justice Board is said to be one of the smaller quangos in the U.K., taxpayers are becoming particularly outraged with the out-of-whack pay packages quango honchos such as Mackay are taking home.

For myself, I don't begrudge Mackay a single pence of his $600,000 income, and not just because I'm not a U.K. taxpayer. If his bosses agree to pay him two or three or four times what the job is worth, then good for him - the shame lies with his boss and the Youth Justice Board and the entire bloated and unaccountable government that have created all these absurd quangos and have overpaid the quango queens who run them.

As the Daily Mail put it, "The bumper salaries have prompted politicians of all parties to call for a cut in the number and cost of Britain's 790 quangos."

Mr. Mackay, I hope you've saved a lot of that $1.8 million you've earned in the past three years, because the gravy train looks like it might be making its final run.

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