Presentation on theme: "The British executive branch of Government is divided into 3 parts: 1.The Prime Minister 2.The Cabinet 3.The Civil Service The Prime Minister and the Cabinet."— Presentation transcript:
The British executive branch of Government is divided into 3 parts: 1.The Prime Minister 2.The Cabinet 3.The Civil Service The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are politically partisan while the civil Service is politically neutral and performs administrative tasks.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND PRACTICAL ROLE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE IN GREAT BRITAIN IS TO HELP THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM FORMULATE THEIR POLICIES, CARRY OUT DECISIONS AND ADMINISTER PUBLIC SERVICES FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE. In other words – Government ministers make the policy decisions and Civil servants administer these decisions.
The Civil Service, as we know it, has been in existence since 1854. Before this Civil Servants were appointed to office by ministers without regard for qualification or age but in return for political support or personal interest. Since 1854 civil Servants have been Servants of the Crown. They are permanent appointees and their duty, first and foremost, is to the Minister in charge of the department in which they work. However they must always remain politically impartial and a change of government or minister does not involve a change of staff.
The Prime Minister appoints the senior civil servants and they work directly for the Cabinet and Departmental ministers. Less senior civil servants are appointed by the Civil Service Commission (an independent body) or more often now, the department recruits directly through advertising and using job centres. Page 95 of “UK Politics Today” shows how a department is structured with politicians and civil servants.
The Civil Service The highest ranking civil servant is the Cabinet Secretary. The most senior civil servant in a department is the permanent secretary. There are currently 453,000 Civil Servants on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis and 489,000 on a headcount basis.
The Civil Service is like the Army! It is made up of several different “grades” and each grade reports to the grade directly above. Each civil servant is able to move up through the grades by passing promotion boards and in theory could move from the very lowest grade right to the most senior grade in this way. This, however is highly unlikely to happen.
Ministers make policy decision and civil servants implement those decisions. This means that Ministers and politicians are responsible to parliament (and the electorate) for their policies and the administration of their department. Civil servants on the other hand are anonymous, being neither “named or blamed” in public for departmental failures (or successes). Civil servants provide the advice that Ministers need to formulate and supervise the administration of policy decision. So – how much influence do Civil Servants Have?
In reality the dividing line between Civil Servants and Ministers is not always obvious. Why? Civil Servants are recruited to work for a department and may remain there for years. Many never move to another department. Ministers rarely stay longer than two years in one department before moving on. Therefore the Civil Servants have the expertise and this makes them extremely influential in the decision making process. Civil Servants will also work with different administrations – when the Government changes, the civil Servants remain in post. “Yes Prime Minister” is obviously fiction and exaggerated, but there is an element of truth in how the relationship between top Civil Servants and Ministers operate!
The Civil Service has been consistently reformed since the 1960’s. Significant changes include: 1.The introduction of experts in relevant fields of research and administration as advisers to ministers. The labour government brought this in after their victories in 1964 and 1974 with the intention of broadening and improving the advice given to ministers. It was felt that Civil Servants would try and protect the “Departmental interest” at all costs and that this came first. There was a traditional rivalry and competition between departments. 2.In 1979, Margaret Thatcher introduced the Financial Management Initiative (FMI) which was intended to cut public expenditure by improving the financial management of government departments.
Special Advisers assist and advise government ministers. They contrast with "permanent“ civil servants as they are not politically neutral. They are political appointees whose loyalties are claimed by the governing party and often particular ministers with whom they have a close relationship. For this reason, advisers may resign when a general election is called to campaign on behalf of their party. There is no legal limit on the number of special advisers, although the current total is less than it was under Tony Blair. SPADS – Andy Coulson was Director of Communications to the Prime Minister but resigned in 2011 and was replaced by Craig Oliver. SPECIAL ADVISERS
Clare Foges - Chief Speech-writer. Gabby Bertin - Press Secretary Liz Sugg - Head of Operations and Events Andrew Dunlop - Adviser on Scotland SPADS
Probably one of the most significant reforms of the Civil Service occurred with the introduction of the NEXT STEPS PROGRAMME in 1988. The aim was to distinguish between the policy making and the managerial functions of the Civil Service. The managerial functions were transferred to special Executive Agencies within each Department. The Executive Agencies were introduced to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. They are part of the Civil Service but have delegated authority to employ their own staff and organise service provision. Next steps were seen as the first step towards privatisation.
THE CIVIL SERVICE - DIFFICULTIES Civil servants may have difficulty adapting to a new party in power. Top civil servants may share social and educational backgrounds with Conservative MPs and may find it difficult to work with other parties. Civil servants who wish to enhance their career may wish to “please” ministers with their advice.
THE CIVIL SERVICE Officially official - Yes, Prime Minister - BBC – YouTubeOfficially official - Yes, Prime Minister - BBC – YouTube Prime Minister vs Sir Humphrey – YouTube Women in the Civil Service - Yes Minister - BBC comedy – YouTubeWomen in the Civil Service - Yes Minister - BBC comedy – YouTube BBC Two - Democracy In Action, Scotland, Meet the civil servantBBC Two - Democracy In Action, Scotland, Meet the civil servant A public inquiry - Yes Minister - BBC comedy - YouTubeA public inquiry - Yes Minister - BBC comedy - YouTube