General Science


  • noun an official body, set up by a government to investigate or deal with a special problem

Information & Library Science

  • noun an independent advisory body set up by the government, but having separate legal powers within a restricted area of activity


  • noun a group of people appointed by a government with powers to deal with problems, but largely independent of government control.


  • abbreviation forquasi non-governmental organization
    (written as Quango)

Origin & History of “quango”

Quango is an acronym created probably in the late 1960s to refer, in a none too complimentary way, to an administrative body hovering in the grey area between public accountability and private control. It is commonly explained as being based on the initial letters of quasi-autonomous national government organization, but there is no actual evidence for that unwieldy phrase before the mid-1970s, by which time the acronym was already going strong. A more plausible source is the simpler quasi-nongovernmental organization, which was around in the late 1960s.