The Audit Commission paid £15,025 last year for drama workshops.
The firm Steps Drama explain their work for the Quango as follows:
"Called Managing Change for Diversity & Equality, the workshop combines presentations from senior managers at the Audit Commission with drama scenarios, delivered and facilitated by Steps, that bring the issues to life. It has been delivered 32 times, in off-site locations throughout England, with around 30 Audit Commission staff attending each session… Three actor-facilitators from Steps run an initial drama scenario, portraying employees in a parallel workplace who have narrow views and negative attitudes to issues such as work-life-balance, sexual orientation and disability. The delegates, as a group, question each character and give advice on how they might change their behaviour in the future. After facilitating a discussion exercise exploring the scope of diversity, Steps deliver three additional drama scenarios, depicting issues around racial insensitivity, sexual orientation and bullying. "
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps says:
“It now appears that the body charged with monitoring how public cash was spent were living in their own little fantasy world blowing taxpayers’ cash on drama workshops and role playing games.
"From dining out in fine restaurants to spending thousands of pounds on pot plants and the like, this is yet more evidence of just how the Audit Commission lost its way under the last government and why we’ve stepped in to take immediate action."
The Daily Mail has more here – including spending of £4.8 million on hotels over three years and sponsorship of £100,000 for Gordon Brown's Smith Institute.