Nevertheless, the problems associated with attempting to determine precise numbers can be illustrated by the fact that the 82 TECs in England and Wales do not appear in official statistics of NDPBs
because the government views them as 'non-profit making private companies working under government contract'.
Answers to Parliamentary Questions which he put between 1974 and 1979 revealed that, although departments did keep tabs on what tended to be described as 'fringe bodies' (generally speaking what would now be described as executive NDPBs) and were also able to list the appointments for which their ministers were responsible, there was no central list of such bodies.
That report identified 2,117 such bodies falling into the categories of executive NDPBs, advisory NDPBs and tribunals.
Trends in the growth and numbers of NDPBs are therefore recorded separately from trends within the health service, although the total of ministerial appointments is aggregated.
Far from growing, as critics misguidedly claim, the number of NDPBs, by Pliatzky's definition, has been steadily falling since his review.
It now forms the largest single category in terms of staffing and finance, and to include it with the executive NDPB category would drown out changes in the latter.
Some indicators of this are picked up through data on executive NDPB activity because of the role of executive NDPBs in funding such bodies.
The substantial privatisation of nationalised industries and other public corporations, which has led to a reduction in staffing and funding greater than the entire size of the executive NDPB category as it existed in 1979.
This had an important impact on the financing total for the executive NDPB category, though the subsequent establishment of TECs and LECs, not counted by the government as executive NDPBs, led to an increase in the number of bodies with which we are interested.
Housing Action Trusts (HATs) are Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs
) set up as one of a series of government initiatives to address problems of poor housing and economic decay in urban areas.