Given that the DCMS has quite rightly gone to great lengths to advertise widely the vacancies for new Arts Council members, it is a little confusing now to find that nine of the people who have been most heavily involved in the strategic decision-making for the former arts funding system ? the one so derided by the former Arts Council of England - have been appointed to the helm of the new body (p3).
This begs three questions. Firstly, as some of these individuals have chaired Regional Arts Boards that have openly opposed the ACE re-organisation, what sort of road-to-Damascus-like experience has so convinced them of the merits of the new system that they now want to play such a major role in it? Secondly, if they have been responsible for the running of the system which is perceived to have so failed the arts that it needs replacing, how come they are the best people in the country to run the new system? And finally, if the strategic input to the new system is largely the same as the input to the old one, why should we expect any change in output? Answers on a postcard please?
News that the Auditor General for Wales has rebuffed the criticisms levelled at his November 2001 report (p1) into the CVA fiasco should come as no real surprise to most politically aware pundits. Perhaps the only real surprise is that the critics of the original damning report, which gave graphic details of a catalogue of incompetence over the funding, creation and operation of the CVA, did not realise that the darkness surrounding them was in fact a hole, and at that point a ladder would have been preferable to a shovel!