British government departments

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.

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.


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).

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.


Ministerial departments

Image Name Establishment Political Leader Head Civil Servant Headquarters Size Budget
Victoria Street, London SW1 - - 51380 Attorney General's Office
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) Cabinet Office
December 1916 Minister for the Cabinet Office
Rt Hon Dr David Lidington CBE MP
Permanent Secretary
John Manzoni
70 Whitehall, London 1668 £2100 million
Cabinet Office (29542331802) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Rt Hon Dr Greg Clark MP
Permanent Secretary
Alex Chisholm
1 Victoria Street, London ???? £13,800 million
Government Offices Great George Street Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3 May 1997 Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP
Permanent Secretary
Sarah Healey
100 Parliament Street, London 900 £1,400 million
Government Offices Great George Street Department for Education
13 May 2010 Secretary of State for Education
Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP
Permanent Secretary
Jonathan Slater
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London ???? £58,200 million
Defra, Nobel House, Smith Square Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
8 June 2001 Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Permanent Secretary
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London ???? £2,200 million
Downing Street Department for Exiting the European Union
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP
Permanent Secretary
Clare Moriarty CB
9 Downing Street, London 651 ????
Admiralty Screen (411824276) Department for International Development
3 May 1997 Secretary of State for International Development
Rt Hon Rory Stewart OBE MP
Permanent Secretary
Matthew Rycroft
22 Whitehall, London ???? £13,400 million
Department for International Trade
14 July 2016 Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade
Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP FRCGP
Permanent Secretary
Antonia Romeo
3 Whitehall Place, London ???? ???
Horseferry Road, Westminster, London Department for Transport
29 May 2002 Secretary of State for Transport
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Permanent Secretary
Bernadette Kelly CB
Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London ???? £5,300 million
QuarryHouseLeeds Department for Work and Pensions
8 June 2001 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Permanent Secretary
Peter Schofield CB
Caxton House, Tothill, London 84,718 £176,300 million
QuarryHouseLeeds Department for Health and Social Care
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 Foreign and Commonwealth Office
17 October 1968 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Simon McDonald KCMG KCVO
39 Victoria Street, London ???? £1,100 million
Government Offices Great George Street HM Treasury
1126[a] Chancellor of the Exchequer
Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
Sir Thomas Scholar KCB
1 Horse Guards Road, London 1169 £3,800 million
Marsham Street Home Office
2 March 1782 Secretary of State for the Home Department
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Philip Rutnam KCB
2 Marsham Street, London ???? £8,900 million
Ministry of Defence Main Building MOD 45150121 Ministry of Defence
1 April 1964 Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP
Permanent Secretary
Stephen Lovegrove CB
Main Building, Whitehall, London 56,860 £46,000 million
Marsham Street Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
6 May 2006 Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
Permanent Secretary
Melanie Dawes CB
2 Marsham Street, London ???? £28,200 million
HomeOffice QueenAnnesGate Ministry of Justice
9 May 2007 Secretary of State for Justice & Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Rt Hon David Gauke MP
Permanent Secretary & Clerk of the Crown in Chancery
Sir Richard Heaton KCB
102 Petty France, London >77,000 £8,200 million
Northern Ireland Office
24 March 1972 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP
Permanent Secretary
Sir Jonathan Stephens KCB
1 Horse Guards Road, London 167 £23 million
The Scottish Government Office of the Advocate General for Scotland
19 May 1999 Advocate General of Scotland
Rt Hon The Lord Keen of Elie QC MP
Neil Taylor
Victoria Quay, Edinburgh ???? ????
Big Ben 2007-1 Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
4 April 1721 Leader of the House of Commons & Lord President of the Council
Rt Hon Mel Stride MP
Palace of Westminster, London ???? ????
Government Offices Great George Street 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 Scotland Office
13 June 2003 Secretary of State for Scotland
Rt Hon David Mundell WS MP
Gillian McGregor CBE
Dover House, Whitehall, London ???? £8 million
Gwydyr House, Whitehall (geograph 5590927) Wales Office
1 July 1999 Secretary of State for Wales
Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
Glynne Jones
Gwydyr House, Whitehall, London 52 £4.7 million
Government Offices Great George Street Export Credits Guarantee Department
1919 Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade
Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP FRCGP
Chief Executive
Louis Taylor
1 Horseguards Road, Whitehall, London ???? ????


  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

See also


  1. ^ "How government works". 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

External links

British National Space Centre

The British National Space Centre (BNSC) was an agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, organised in 1985, that coordinated civil space activities for the UK. It was replaced on 1 April 2010 by the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA).

British ensign

In British maritime law and custom, an ensign is the identifying flag flown to designate a British ship, either military or civilian. Such flags display the United Kingdom Union Flag in the canton (the upper corner next to the staff), with either a red, white or blue field, dependent on whether the vessel is civilian, naval, or in a special category. These are known as the red, white, and blue ensigns respectively.

Outside the nautical sphere, ensigns are used to designate many other military units, government departments and administrative divisions. These flags are modelled on the red, white, and blue naval ensigns, but may use different colours for the field, and be "defaced" by the addition of a badge or symbol, for example the sky blue with concentric red, white and blue circles of the Royal Air Force ensign.

The Union Flag (also known as the Union Jack) should be flown as a jack by Royal Navy ships only when moored, at anchor, while underway and dressed with masthead ensigns, or if the Monarch or an Admiral of the Fleet is on board. The Union Flag may also signal that a court martial is in progress.

The use of the Union Flag as an ensign on a civilian craft is still illegal, ever since Charles I ordered it be restricted to His Majesty's ships "upon pain of Our high displeasure" in the 17th century, mainly due to its unauthorised use by merchant mariners to avoid paying harbour duties by passing themselves off as Royal vessels.

Bromsgrove School

Bromsgrove School is a co-educational independent boarding school in the Worcestershire town of Bromsgrove, England. Founded in 1553, it is one of the oldest public schools in Britain, and one of the 14 founding members of the Headmaster's Conference. Bromsgrove School has both boarding and day students consisting of three schools, Pre-Prep Nursery School (ages 2–7), Preparatory School (ages 7–13) and the Senior School (13–18). Bromsgrove charges up to £12,430 per term, with three terms per academic year.[1]. The School has a total of 200 teaching staff, with 1,660 pupils, including 220 in the Pre-preparatory School, 500 in the Preparatory School and 940 in the Senior School.

Spread across 100 acres, the main campus is located in the heart of the town of Bromsgrove. However, Bromsgrove School has also expanded overseas, with an additional boarding school in Bangkok (Bromsgrove International School Thailand) and a new school within the Mission Hills complex in Shenzhen, China, Bromsgrove School Mission Hills.

C. Northcote Parkinson

Cyril Northcote Parkinson (30 July 1909 – 9 March 1993) was a British naval historian and author of some 60 books, the most famous of which was his best-seller Parkinson's Law (1957), in which Parkinson advanced Parkinson's law, stating that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion", an insight which led him to be regarded as an important scholar in public administration and management.

Defence High Frequency Communications Service

The Defence High Frequency Communications Service or the DHFCS is a British military beyond line-of-sight communication system operated by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and used predominately by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army, as well as other authorised users.

The system operates from six transmitting and receiving sites across the United Kingdom and is controlled from a network control centre located at Forest Moor in North Yorkshire and a backup site at Kinloss Barracks in Moray. Overseas sites are located in Ascension Island, Cyprus and Falkland Islands.

In 2003 VT Merlin Communications (now Babcock International Group) were awarded the contract to operate the system for a period of fifteen years on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

Department for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid. The goal of the department is "to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty". DFID is headed by the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for International Development. The position has been held, since 1 May 2019, by Rory Stewart. In a 2010 report by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), DFID was described as "an international development leader in times of global crisis". The UK aid logo is often used to publicly acknowledge DFID's development programmes are funded by UK taxpayers.

DFID's main programme areas of work are Education, Health, Social Services, Water Supply and Sanitation, Government and Civil Society, Economic Sector (including Infrastructure, Production Sectors and Developing Planning), Environment Protection, Research, and Humanitarian Assistance.

In 2009/10 DFID’s Gross Public Expenditure on Development was £6.65bn. Of this £3.96bn was spent on Bilateral Aid (including debt relief, humanitarian assistance and project funding) and £2.46bn was spent on Multilateral Aid (including support to the EU, World Bank, UN and other related agencies). Although the Department for International Development’s foreign aid budget was not affected by the cuts outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2010 spending review, DFID will see their administration budgets slashed by approximately 19 percent over the next four years. This would mean a reduction in back-office costs to account for only 2 percent of their total spend by 2015.In June 2013 as part of the 2013 Spending Round outcomes it was announced that DFID's total programme budget would increase to £10.3bn in 2014/15 and £11.1bn in 2015/16 to help meet the UK government's commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI (Gross National Income) on ODA (Official Development Assistance). DFID is responsible for the majority of UK ODA; projected to total £11.7bn in 2014/15 and £12.2bn in 2015/16.The National Audit Office (NAO) 2009 Performance Management review looked at how DFID has restructured its performance management arrangements over the last 6 years. The report responded to a request from DFID’s Accounting Officer to re-visit the topic periodically, which the Comptroller and Auditor General agreed would be valuable. The study found that DFID had improved in its general scrutiny of progress in reducing poverty and of progress towards divisional goals, however noted that there was still clear scope for further improvement.

In 2016 DFID was taken to task with accusations of misappropriation of funding in the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. Whistleblower Sean McLaughlin commenced legal action against the Department in the Eastern Caribbean Court, questioning the DFID fraud investigation process.

Home Secretary

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, normally referred to as the Home Secretary, is a senior official as one of the Great Offices of State within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Home Office. It is a British Cabinet level position.

The Home Secretary is responsible for the internal affairs of England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the United Kingdom. The remit of the Home Office also includes policing in England and Wales and matters of national security, as the Security Service (MI5) is directly accountable to the Home Secretary. Formerly, the Home Secretary was the minister responsible for prisons and probation in England and Wales; however in 2007 those responsibilities were transferred to the newly created Ministry of Justice under the Lord Chancellor. A high profile position, it is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious and important roles in the British Cabinet.

The position of Home Secretary has been held by Sajid Javid since 30 April 2018.

Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal

The Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal was a British service medal distributed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It was awarded to civilian public servants, contractors and consultants, and to members of the Armed Forces working with British Government Departments, who were either appointed, deployed or employed by Her Majesty's Government (HMG) to work in Iraq, and who had served at least 40 days.

Languages of the United Kingdom

English, in various dialects, is the most widely spoken language of the United Kingdom, however there are a number of regional languages also spoken. There are 14 indigenous languages used across the British Isles: 5 Celtic, 3 Germanic, 3 Romance, and 3 sign languages. There are also many immigrant languages spoken in the British Isles, mainly within inner city areas; these languages are mainly from South Asia and Eastern Europe.

The de facto official language of the United Kingdom is English, which is spoken by approximately 59.8 million residents, or 98% of the population, over the age of three. (According to 2011 census data, 864,000 people in England and Wales reported speaking little or no English.) An estimated 700,000 people speak Welsh in the UK, an official language in Wales and the only de jure official language in any part of the UK. Approximately 1.5 million people in the UK speak Scots—although there is debate as to whether this is a distinct language, or a variety of English.

Living in the Material World

Living in the Material World is the fourth studio album by English musician George Harrison, released in 1973 on Apple Records. As the follow-up to 1970's critically acclaimed All Things Must Pass and his pioneering charity project, the Concert for Bangladesh, it was among the most highly anticipated releases of that year. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America two days after release, on its way to becoming Harrison's second number 1 album in the United States, and produced the international hit "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)". It also topped albums charts in Canada and Australia, and reached number 2 in Britain.

Living in the Material World is notable for the uncompromising lyrical content of its songs, reflecting Harrison's struggle for spiritual enlightenment against his status as a superstar, as well as for what many commentators consider to be the finest guitar and vocal performances of his career. In contrast with All Things Must Pass, Harrison scaled down the production for Material World, using a core group of musicians comprising Nicky Hopkins, Gary Wright, Klaus Voormann and Jim Keltner. Ringo Starr, John Barham and Indian classical musician Zakir Hussain were among the album's other contributors.

Upon release, Rolling Stone described it as a "pop classic", a work that "stands alone as an article of faith, miraculous in its radiance". Most contemporary reviewers consider Living in the Material World to be a worthy successor to All Things Must Pass, even if it inevitably falls short of Harrison's grand opus. Author Simon Leng refers to the album as a "forgotten blockbuster", representing "the close of an age, the last offering of the Beatles' London era". EMI reissued the album in 2006, in remastered form with bonus tracks, and released a deluxe-edition CD/DVD set that included film clips of four songs.

Ministry (government department)

A ministry is a 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 (often under varying names) a Ministry of Interior, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Ministry of Defense (which may be divided into ministries for land, naval, and air forces), a Ministry of Justice and a Ministry of Finance. A Ministry of Education or similar is also commonly present.Ministries are usually immediate subdivisions of the cabinet (the executive branch of the government), and subordinate to its chief executive who is called prime minister, chief minister, president, minister-president or (federal) chancellor.

During the 20th century, many countries increasingly tended to replace the term "ministry" with words such as "department", "office" or "state secretariat". In some countries, these terms may be used with specific meanings: for example, an office may be a subdivision of a department or ministry.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner

The Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is an elected official charged with securing efficient and effective policing within the County. The position replaces the now abolished police authorities. The PCC is elected for four-year terms. The first incumbents were elected on 15 November 2012.

The current PCC is Mr. Stephen Mold who was elected to office on 5 May 2016 to a term expiring in May 2020.

The core functions of the PCC is to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force within Northamptonshire, and to hold the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police to account for the delivery of the police and crime plan. The PCC is also charged with holding the police fund (from which all policing in the County is financed) and raising the local policing precept from council tax. Lastly, the PCC is responsible for the appointment, suspension and dismissal of the Chief Constable.

Northumberland Avenue

Northumberland Avenue is a street in the City of Westminster, Central London, running from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east. The road was built on the site of Northumberland House, the London home of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland between 1874 and 1876, and on part of the parallel Northumberland Street.

When built, the street was designed for luxury accommodation, including the seven-storey Grand Hotel, the Victoria and the Metropole. The Playhouse Theatre opened in 1882 and become a significant venue in London. From the 1930s onwards, hotels disappeared from Northumberland Avenue and were replaced by offices used by departments of the British Government, including the War Office and Air Ministry, later the Ministry of Defence. The street has been commemorated in the Sherlock Holmes novels including The Hound of the Baskervilles, and is a square on the British Monopoly board.

SS Flying Enterprise

SS Flying Enterprise was a 6,711 ton Type C1-B ship which sank in 1952. She was built in 1944 as SS Cape Kumukaki for the United States Maritime Commission for use in World War II. The ship was sold in 1947 and then operated in scheduled service under the name Flying Enterprise.

Secretary of State for Scotland

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Rùnaire Stàite na h-Alba, Scots: Secretar o State for Scotland) is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland representing Scotland. They head the Scotland Office (formerly the Scottish Office), a government department based in London and Edinburgh.

Tavistock Institute

This article is about the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. For the organisation which contains the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, see Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, and for the current National Health arm see Tavistock ClinicThe Tavistock Institute of Human Relations or TIHR is a British not-for-profit organisation which applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. It was initiated in 1946, when it developed from the Tavistock Clinic, and was formally established as a separate entity in September 1947. The journal Human Relations is published on behalf of the Tavistock Institute by Sage Publications. The Institute is located in Tabernacle Street in Islington, London.

The Moor Quarter

The Moor Quarter is one of Sheffield's twelve designated quarters, built around and named for The Moor, a pedestrianised thoroughfare. It is bound by Furnival Gate in the north-east, Eyre Street in the south-east, St Mary's Gate to the south, and Moore Street and Charter Row to the north-west.

It is primarily a retail location, with the city's main market now located in the quarter. There are also some offices at Charter Row and Moorfoot. It benefits from a good location, centrally between the Devonshire Quarter, Cultural Industries Quarter, Heart of the City and London Road and Ecclesall Road shops.

The monolithic Moorfoot Building is at the south-west end of the Moor. It previously housed central British government departments, but is now used by Sheffield City Council.

Titan Rain

Titan Rain was the designation given by the federal government of the United States to a series of coordinated attacks on American computer systems since 2003; they were known to have been ongoing for at least three years. The attacks were labeled as Chinese in origin, although their precise nature, e.g., state-sponsored espionage, corporate espionage, or random hacker attacks, and their real identities – masked by proxy, zombie computer, spyware/virus infected – remain unknown. The activity known as "Titan Rain" is believed to be associated with an Advanced Persistent Threat.

Titan Rain hackers gained access to many United States defense contractor computer networks who were targeted for their sensitive information, including those at Lockheed Martin, Sandia National Laboratories, Redstone Arsenal, and NASA.

United States federal executive departments

The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but (the United States being a presidential system) they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments.

The heads of the executive departments receive the title of Secretary of their respective department, except for the Attorney-General who is head of the Justice Department (and the Postmaster General who until 1971 was head of the Post Office Department). The heads of the executive departments are appointed by the President and take office after confirmation by the United States Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the President. The heads of departments are members of the Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that normally acts as an advisory body to the President. In the Opinion Clause (Article II, section 2, clause 1) of the U.S. Constitution, heads of executive departments are referred to as "principal Officer in each of the executive Departments".

The heads of executive departments are included in the line of succession to the President, in the event of a vacancy in the presidency, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

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