Minister for the Civil Service

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Minister for the Civil Service
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Boris Johnson official portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Boris Johnson

since 24 July 2019 (2019-07-24)
Government of the United Kingdom
StyleThe Right Honourable
Member ofCabinet
Residence10 Downing Street
SeatWestminster
AppointerMonarch
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holderHarold Wilson
Formation1 November 1968
Deputy
WebsiteOfficial website

In the Government of the United Kingdom, the minister for the civil service is responsible for regulations regarding Her Majesty's Civil Service,[1] the role of which is to assist the governments of the United Kingdom in formulating and implementing policies. The position is invariably held by the prime minister of the United Kingdom.[2]

The role[edit]

In recognition of the primary authority of the prime minister over the Civil Service, it is a constitutional convention that the ministry would always be held by the prime minister.[3] The list of ministers for the civil service is therefore identical to the list of prime ministers of the United Kingdom from 1968 onwards.

By the terms of the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992, the minister may delegate his or her power to ministers and others such as the Scottish Government.[4] Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Tom Watson to be responsible for the Civil Service as "Minister for Digital Engagement and Civil Service Issues",[5] while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given Michael Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office, responsibility for the Civil Service.[6][7]

The Statutory Instrument The Transfer of Functions (Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service) Order 1995, which transferred functions to the minister for the civil service, came into force on 1 April 1995.[8]

The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 codifies the power of the minister for the civil service to manage the civil service, including the 'power to make appointments', the publication of the Civil service code of conduct, and the right to be consulted before publication of recruitment principles by the Civil Service Commission.[9] The Act also requires the minister for the civil service to publish a special adviser code of conduct, approve the terms and conditions of appointment of special advisers, and publish an annual report about special advisers serving the UK Government.[10]

Civil Service Department[edit]

The ministership was created for Harold Wilson on 1 November 1968 when responsibilities for the pay and management of the Civil Service was transferred from HM Treasury to a new Civil Service Department.[11]

Margaret Thatcher announced the abolition of the Civil Service Department to the House of Commons on 12 November 1981.[12][13]

Junior ministers in the Civil Service Department[edit]

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Other ministerial portfolios held during tenure Party Ministry
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Edward Shackleton
Baron Shackleton
OBE PC

(1911–1994)
1 December
1968
19 June
1970
Labour Wilson
Official portrait of Lord Howell of Guildford crop 2.jpg Parliamentary Secretary
David Howell
MP for Guildford
(b. 1936)
20 June
1970
26 March
1972
Conservative Heath
Official portrait of Lord Baker of Dorking crop 2.jpg Parliamentary Secretary
Kenneth Baker
MP for St Marylebone
(b. 1934)
20 June
1972
4 March
1974
No image.svg Parliamentary Secretary
Geoffrey Johnson-Smith
MP for East Grinstead
(1924–2010)
20 June
1972
No image.svg Minister of State
Robert Sheldon
MP for Ashton-under-Lyne
(1923–2020)
7 April
1974
18 October
1974
Labour Wilson
No image.svg Parliamentary Secretary
John Grant
MP for Islington Central
(1932–2000)
No image.svg Minister of State
Charles Morris
MP for Manchester Openshaw
(1986–2012)
18 October
1974
4 May
1979
Wilson & Callaghan

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Civil Service Order in Council 1995" (PDF). UK Civil Service Commissioners. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Her Majesty's Government". Government of the United Kingdom. 9 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010.
  3. ^ David Wood (17 October 1968). "Ministers in merger dilemma". The Times (57384). London. p. 1.
  4. ^ Pilkington 1999, p. 153.
  5. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (2 June 2009). "Profile: Tom Watson". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  6. ^ Gove, Michael (2 March 2020). "Ministerial Code". Hansard. Retrieved 3 March 2020. As the Minister responsible for the civil service, I am pleased to be here in order to be able to uphold the ministerial code
  7. ^ Yorke, Harry; Hymas, Charles (2 March 2020). "Priti Patel allegations will be investigated by Cabinet Office, Government says". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 March 2020. Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister responsible for the civil service
  8. ^ "The Transfer of Functions (Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service) Order 1995". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, sections 3(1), 3(3), 5(1), 11(2)". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, sections 8(1), 15(1), 16(1)". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  11. ^ Daintith & Page 1999.
  12. ^ "HC Stmnt: [Civil Service Department (Transfer of Responsibilities)]". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 12 November 1981. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Part 3: Changes in the Public Service since 1967 (Continued)". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 1998. Retrieved 2 September 2017.

Sources[edit]