Executive agency

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An executive agency is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate, to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government or Northern Ireland Executive. Executive agencies are "machinery of government" devices distinct both from non-ministerial government departments and non-departmental public bodies (or "quangos"), each of which enjoy a real legal and constitutional separation from ministerial control. The model was also applied in several other countries.

Contents

Size and scope

United Kingdom adm location map.svg
Agencies with jurisdiction over all four countries with head offices outside of London — green=state agency, orange=state-owned company (Hover mouse over pog to popup clickable link)

Agencies [1] include well-known organisations such as Her Majesty's Prison Service and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The annual budget for each agency, allocated by Her Majesty's Treasury ranges from a few million pounds for the smallest agencies to £700m for the Court Service. Virtually all government departments have at least one agency.

Issues and reports

The initial success or otherwise of executive agencies was examined in the Sir Angus Fraser's Fraser Report of 1991. Its main goal was to identify what good practices had emerged from the new model and spread them to other agencies and departments. The report also recommended further powers be devolved from ministers to chief executives.

A series of reports and white papers examining governmental delivery were published throughout the 1990s, under both Conservative and Labour governments. During these the agency model became the standard model for delivering public services in the United Kingdom. By 1997 76% of civil servants were employed by an agency. The new Labour government in its first such report the 1998 Next Steps Report endorsed the model introduced by its predecessor. The most recent review (in 2002, linked below) made two central conclusions (their emphasis):

"The agency model has been a success. Since 1988 agencies have transformed the landscape of government and the responsive and effectiveness of services delivered by Government."
"Some agencies have, however, become disconnected from their departments ... The gulf between policy and delivery is considered by most to have widened."

The latter point is usually made more forcefully by Government critics, describing agencies as "unaccountable quangos".

List by department

Attorney General's Office

Non-ministerial department

Other

  • HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

Cabinet Office

Ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Other

Civil Service

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Tribunal non-departmental public body

Other

Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Tribunal non-departmental public body

  • Valuation Tribunal for England

Public corporation

Other

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Public corporation

Department for Education

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Other

  • Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
  • Independent Review Mechanism
  • Office of the Schools Adjudicator

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

  • Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment
  • Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel
  • Science Advisory Council
  • Veterinary Products Committee

Tribunal non-departmental public body

  • Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal

Other

Department for International Trade

Department for Transport

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

  • Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee

Tribunal non-departmental public body

Public corporation

Other

Department for Work and Pensions

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Tribunal non-departmental public body

Public corporation

Other

  • Independent Case Examiner

Department of Health

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Other

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Public corporation

Other

HM Treasury

Non-ministerial department

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

  • Royal Mint Advisory Committee

Other

Home Office

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Tribunal non-departmental public body

Independent monitoring body

  • Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner

Other

Ministry of Defence

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Public corporation

Ad-hoc advisory group

  • Central Advisory Committee on Compensation

Other

Ministry of Justice

Executive agency

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Other

Northern Ireland Office

Executive non-departmental public body

Advisory non-departmental public body

Office of the Advocate General for Scotland

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

Office of the Leader of the House of Lords

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Scotland Office

Advisory non-departmental public body

UK Export Finance

Advisory non-departmental public body

  • Export Guarantees Advisory Council

Non ministerial departments

Not already listed above:

Other countries

Several other countries have an executive agency model.

In the United States, the Clinton administration imported the model, but with a modification of the name to "performance-based organizations." [2]

In Canada, executive agencies were adopted on a limited basis under the name "special operating agencies." [3] One example is the Translation Bureau under Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Executive agencies were also established in Australia, Jamaica, Japan and Tanzania.

See also

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References