Recent governments have allowed too many so called independent bodies to continue, to increase their fees, charges and budgets and often do a poor job. When they let us down Ministers get the blame, as the Environment Agency has on sewage discharges, the Rail regulators and public sector bodies have on train services, the North Sea Transition Authority has on energy self sufficiency and cost, The Post Office has on treatment of its sub postmasters, HS2 has over building a railway to time and budget, the Highways Agency has over keeping the main roads open and free flowing and the Border controllers have over illegal migration to name a few.
The public want controlled migration, good roads, affordable railways, well run Post Offices , more of our own oil and gas for our needs and clean water. They do not want Ministers who say it was not us, and responsible bodies who suddenly claim it was nothing to do with them. Ministers tell me with these bodies they are warned off intervening and told they have independent powers. In practice they are creatures of the state. Ministers need to get them reporting to them in an agreed and sensible way. Ministers should act as the non executive chairman or the responsible shareholder, They can delegate their authority but they need to know the up to date position, supervise the annual report and the budgets, and ask good questions if there are complaints. They need to be ready to praise or blame, reward or fire the top management related to their conduct and performance.
In some cases we would be better off without these bodies. Take the work back into the department and supervise it directly.