British government departments

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The government of the United Kingdom exercises its executive authority through a number of government departments or departments of state. A department is composed of employed officials, known as civil servants, and is politically accountable through a minister. Most major departments are headed by a secretary of state, who sits in the cabinet, and typically supported by a team of junior ministers.

Government of the United Kingdom Central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is also commonly referred to as simply the UK Government or the British Government.

A ministry is a high governmental organisation, headed by a minister, that is meant to manage a specific sector of public administration. Governments may have differing numbers and types of ministries, but the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary notes that all states have a Ministry of Interior, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Ministry of Defence, a Ministry of Justice, and a Ministry of Finance. A Ministry of Education or similar is also commonly present.

A minister is a politician who heads a government department, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some jurisdictions the head of government is also a minister and is designated the ’prime minister’, ‘premier’, ’chief minister’, ’chancellor’ or other title.

Contents

There are also a number of non-ministerial departments. These are headed by senior civil servants, but are linked to a ministerial department through whose ministers they are accountable to Parliament. Departments serve to implement the policies of Her Majesty's Government, regardless of the government's political composition. [1] As a consequence, officials within government departments are generally required to adhere to varying levels of political impartiality and neutrality.

Parliament of the United Kingdom Supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament or Westminster Parliament, as well as domestically simply as Parliament or Westminster, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign (Queen-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

Types

There are two types of government departments.

Ministerial departments are led politically by a government minister, normally a member of the cabinet and cover matters that require direct political oversight. For most departments, the government minister in question is known as a secretary of state . He or she is generally supported by a team of junior ministers. The administrative management of a department is led by a senior civil servant, known as a permanent secretary. Subordinate to these ministerial departments are executive agencies. An executive agency has a degree of autonomy to perform an operational function and report to one or more specific government departments, which will set the funding and strategic policy for the agency. At "arm's length" from a parent or sponsor department there can be a number of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), known colloquially as quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations (Quangos).

Cabinet of the United Kingdom Decision-making body of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and 22 cabinet ministers, the most senior of the government ministers.

Secretary of State (United Kingdom) member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom government

In the United Kingdom, a secretary of state (SofS) is a Cabinet minister in charge of a government department.

A permanent secretary is the most senior civil servant of a British government ministry, charged with running the department on a day-to-day basis.

Non-ministerial departments generally cover matters for which direct political oversight is judged unnecessary or inappropriate. They are headed by senior civil servants. Some fulfil a regulatory or inspection function, and their status is therefore intended to protect them from political interference. Some are headed by Permanent Secretaries or Second Permanent Secretaries.

Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of British government department that deal with matters for which direct political oversight has been judged unnecessary or inappropriate. They are headed by senior civil servants. Some fulfil a regulatory or inspection function, and their status is therefore intended to protect them from political interference. Some are headed by a permanent office holder, such as a Permanent Secretary or Second Permanent Secretary.

List

Ministerial departments

ImageNameEstablishmentPolitical LeaderHead Civil ServantHeadquartersSizeBudget
Victoria Street, London SW1 - geograph.org.uk - 51380.jpg Attorney General's Office
(AGO)
Attorney General for England and Wales
Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP
Director General
Rowena Collins Rice
20 Victoria Street, London????£600 million
Cabinet Office (29542331802).jpg Cabinet Office
(CO)
December 1916 Minister for the Cabinet Office
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Permanent Secretary
John Manzoni
70 Whitehall, London1668£2,100 million
Cabinet Office (29542331802).jpg Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS)
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP
Permanent Secretary
Alex Chisholm
1 Victoria Street, London????£13,800 million
Government Offices Great George Street.jpg Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
(DCMS)
3 May 1997 Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP
Permanent Secretary
Sarah Healey
100 Parliament Street, London900£1,400 million
Government Offices Great George Street.jpg Department for Education
(DfE)
13 May 2010 Secretary of State for Education
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP
Permanent Secretary
Jonathan Slater
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London????£58,200 million
Defra, Nobel House, Smith Square.jpg Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(DEFRA)
8 June 2001 Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP
Permanent Secretary
[Vacant]
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London????£2,200 million
Downing Street.jpg Department for Exiting the European Union
(DExEU)
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP
Permanent Secretary
Clare Moriarty CB
9 Downing Street, London651????
Admiralty Screen (411824276).jpg Department for International Development
(DFID)
3 May 1997 Secretary of State for International Development
Alok Sharma MP
Permanent Secretary
Matthew Rycroft
22 Whitehall, London????£13,400 million
Department for International Trade
(DIT)
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade
Rt Hon Liz Truss MP
Permanent Secretary
Antonia Romeo
3 Whitehall Place, London???????
Horseferry Road, Westminster, London.jpg Department for Transport
(DfT)
29 May 2002 Secretary of State for Transport
Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Permanent Secretary
Bernadette Kelly CB
Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London????£5,300 million
QuarryHouseLeeds.jpg Department for Work and Pensions
(DWP)
8 June 2001 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Permanent Secretary
Peter Schofield CB
Caxton House, Tothill, London84,718£176,300 million
QuarryHouseLeeds.jpg Department for Health and Social Care
(DHSC)
25 July 1988 Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Chris Wormald KCB
39 Victoria Street, London????£116,400 million
Foreign & Commonwealth Office main building.jpg Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(FCO)
17 October 1968 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO
39 Victoria Street, London????£1,100 million
Government Offices Great George Street.jpg HM Treasury
(HMT)
1126 [lower-alpha 1] Chancellor of the Exchequer
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
Sir Thomas Scholar KCB
1 Horse Guards Road, London1169£3,800 million
Marsham Street.jpg Home Office
(HO)
2 March 1782 Secretary of State for the Home Department
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Philip Rutnam KCB
2 Marsham Street, London????£8,900 million
Ministry of Defence Main Building MOD 45150121.jpg Ministry of Defence
(MOD)
1 April 1964 Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP
Permanent Secretary
Stephen Lovegrove CB
Main Building, Whitehall, London56,860£46,000 million
Marsham Street.jpg Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
(MHCLG)
6 May 2006 Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
Robert Jenrick MP
Permanent Secretary
Melanie Dawes CB
2 Marsham Street, London????£28,200 million
HomeOffice QueenAnnesGate.jpg Ministry of Justice
(MoJ)
9 May 2007 Secretary of State for Justice & Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Robert Buckland QC MP
Permanent Secretary & Clerk of the Crown in Chancery
Sir Richard Heaton KCB
102 Petty France, London>77,000£8,200 million
Stormont House.jpg Northern Ireland Office
(NIO)
24 March 1972 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Rt Hon Julian Smith MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Jonathan Stephens KCB
Stormont House, Stormont Estate, Belfast
1 Horse Guards Road, London
167£23 million
The Scottish Government.JPG Office of the Advocate General for Scotland
19 May 1999 Advocate General of Scotland
Rt Hon The Lord Keen of Elie QC MP
Director
Neil Taylor
Victoria Quay, Edinburgh????????
Big Ben 2007-1.jpg Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
4 April 1721 Leader of the House of Commons & Lord President of the Council
The Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
Palace of Westminster, London????????
Government Offices Great George Street.jpg Office of the Leader of the House of Lords
4 April 1721 Leader of the House of Lords & Lord Privy Seal
Rt Hon The Baroness Evans of Bowes Park MBE PC
1 Horseguards Road, London????????
Scotland Office, Dover House, Whitehall 01.jpg Scotland Office
13 June 2003 Secretary of State for Scotland
Alister Jack MP
Director
Gillian McGregor CBE
Dover House, Whitehall, London????£8 million
Gwydyr House, Whitehall (geograph 5590927).jpg Wales Office
1 July 1999 Secretary of State for Wales
Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
Director
Glynne Jones
Gwydyr House, Whitehall, London52£4.7 million
Government Offices Great George Street.jpg Export Credits Guarantee Department
(ECGD)
1919 Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade
Rt Hon Liz Truss MP
Chief Executive
Louis Taylor
1 Horseguards Road, Whitehall, London????????
Office for Veterans' Affairs29 July 2019Minister for the Cabinet Office Oliver Dowden, and MoD and Cabinet Office Minister Johnny Mercer

Note

  1. This is the date of the establishment of the department; the position of treasurer (now the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury) is attested to have existed from 1066. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Non-ministerial departments

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is the non-ministerial government department that regulates registered charities in England and Wales and maintains the Central Register of Charities.

Competition and Markets Authority United Kingdom government non-ministerial department

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is a non-ministerial government department in the United Kingdom, responsible for strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities. The CMA launched in shadow form on 1 October 2013 and began operating fully on 1 April 2014, when it assumed many of the functions of the previously existing Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading, which were abolished.

Crown Prosecution Service United Kingdom government non-ministerial department

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. It is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

List of executive agencies reporting to each department of the British government

See also

10 Downing Street Headquarters of British Government

10 Downing Street, also known colloquially in the United Kingdom simply as Number 10, is the headquarters of the Government of the United Kingdom and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, a post which, for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and invariably since 1905, has been held by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Politics of the United Kingdom Political system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution that is governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, currently Boris Johnson, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, and the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Related Research Articles

Civil Service (United Kingdom) bureaucracy of the national government of the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Home Civil Service, also known as Her Majesty's Civil Service or the Home Civil Service, is the permanent bureaucracy or secretariat of Crown employees that supports Her Majesty's Government, which is composed of a cabinet of ministers chosen by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as two of the three devolved administrations: the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government, but not the Northern Ireland Executive.

HM Treasury United Kingdom government department

Her Majesty's Treasury, sometimes referred to as the Exchequer, or more informally the Treasury, is the British government department responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy and economic policy. The Treasury maintains the Online System for Central Accounting and Reporting (OSCAR), the replacement for the Combined Online Information System (COINS), which itemises departmental spending under thousands of category headings, and from which the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) annual financial statements are produced.

The Scottish Government is the executive in Scotland for areas of public policy which are not reserved. The government was established in 1999 as the Scottish Executive under the Scotland Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Scotland in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution. Following increasing use of the name "government" in place of "executive" during the first decade of the 21st century, its name was formally changed in law to Scottish Government by the Scotland Act 2012.

Cabinet Office United Kingdom government ministerial department

The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom. It is composed of various units that support Cabinet committees and which co-ordinate the delivery of government objectives via other departments. It currently has just over 2,000 staff, most of whom work in Whitehall. Staff working in the Prime Minister's Office are part of the Cabinet Office.

Welsh Government Executive of the National Assembly for Wales

The Welsh Government is the devolved executive of Wales. The government consists of ministers, who attend cabinet meetings, and deputy ministers who do not, and also of a counsel general. It is led by the first minister, usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, who selects ministers and deputy ministers with the approval of the assembly. The government is responsible for tabling policy in devolved areas for consideration by the assembly and implementing policy that has been approved by it.

A Cabinet Secretary is usually a senior official who provides services and advice to a Cabinet of Ministers as part of the Cabinet Office. In many countries, the position can have considerably wider functions and powers, including general responsibility for the entire civil service.

In the United Kingdom there are at least six Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, serving as a commission for the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer. The board consists of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Second Lord of the Treasury, and four or more junior lords to whom this title is usually applied.

An undersecretary is an executive government official in many countries, frequently a career public servant, who typically acts as a senior administrator or second-in-command to a politically appointed cabinet minister or other government official. The title is used in many different political systems.

Cabinet of Nigeria Nigeria Federal Executive Council

The Cabinet of Nigeria is part of the Executive Branch of the Government of Nigeria. The Cabinet's role, as written in the Ministers' Statutory Powers and Duties Act is to serve as an advisory body to the President of Nigeria. Members of the Cabinet are appointed and report to the President, who can dismiss them at will. The Cabinet currently oversees 24 Federal Ministries, each responsible for some aspect of providing government services, as well as a number of parastatals.

Northern Ireland Civil Service

The Northern Ireland Civil Service is the permanent bureaucracy of employees that supports the Northern Ireland Executive, the devolved government of Northern Ireland.

The UK Statistics Authority is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for oversight of the Office for National Statistics, maintaining a national code of practice for official statistics, and accrediting statistics that comply with the Code as National Statistics. UKSA was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, and is directly accountable to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Ministerial Code Rules for UK government ministers

The Ministerial Code is a document setting out "rules" and standards for government ministers in the United Kingdom. Separate codes exist for ministers of the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Welsh Government.

The title secretary of state or state secretary is commonly used for senior or mid-level posts in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple secretaries of state in the government.

Cabinet Secretary (United Kingdom) Head of the British Civil Service

The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior civil servant in the United Kingdom, and is based in the Cabinet Office. He acts as the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and as the Secretary to the Cabinet, is responsible to all Ministers for the efficient running of Cabinet Government. The role is currently occupied by Sir Mark Sedwill, appointed in October 2018; in succession to Jeremy Heywood.

National Security Committee (Australia)

The National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) is the peak decision-making body for national security of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is a committee of the Australian Government Cabinet of Ministers though decisions of the NSC do not require the endorsement of the Cabinet.

References

  1. "How government works". gov.uk. British Government. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. C. Warren Hollister - The Origins of the English Treasury The English Historical Review Vol. 93, No. 367 (Apr., 1978) Retrieved 2012-06-25
  3. Open Domesday Retrieved 2012-06-25
  4. HM Treasury:History
  5. D C Douglas - William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England University of California Press, 1 May 1967 ISBN   0520003500 Retrieved 2012-06-25