The acronyms Qango and Quango, variously spelt out as QUAsi Non-Governmental Organization, QUasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization, and QUasi-Autonomous National Government Organization, have been used, notably in the United Kingdom, but also in Australia, Ireland and other countries, to describe a range of organizations to which governments have devolved power. Confusion over the meaning of the acronym has been reflected in confusion over the use of the term, and may have contributed to its decline in use. The term Quango carries with it an implication of poor management and lack of accountability.
The term originated as a humorous shortening of Quasi-NGO, that is, an ostensibly non-governmental organization which performs governmental functions, often with government funding or other support. There are many such organizations. In Australia and other countries, the Red Cross provides blood bank services, with government support and backing of various kinds. Examples in the United Kingdom include bodies engaged in self-regulation of various sectors, such as the Press Complaints Commission and the Law Society. An essential feature of a Quango, in the original definition, was that it should not be formally part of the public sector.