Executive agency

Executive agency

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An executive agency, also known as a next-step agency, is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland Executive
Northern Ireland Executive
The Northern Ireland Executive is the executive arm of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the devolved legislature for Northern Ireland. It is answerable to the Assembly and was established according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which followed the Good Friday Agreement...

. Executive agencies are "machinery of government" devices distinct both from non-ministerial government department
Non-ministerial government department
A non-ministerial government department is a department or ministry of a government that is not headed by a Government Minister or Government Secretary, and answers directly to a legislature ....

s and non-departmental public bodies
Non-departmental public body
In the United Kingdom, a non-departmental public body —often referred to as a quango—is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, Treasury, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to certain types of public bodies...

 (or "quangos
Quango
Quango or qango is an acronym used notably in the United Kingdom, Ireland and elsewhere to label an organisation to which government has devolved power...

"), each of which enjoy a real legal and constitutional separation from ministerial control. The model was also applied in several other countries.

Size and scope


Agencies range from Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service is a part of the National Offender Management Service of the Government of the United Kingdom tasked with managing most of the prisons within England and Wales...

 to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The largest agency in terms of staff numbers is Jobcentre Plus
Jobcentre Plus
Jobcentre Plus was a government agency for working-age people in Great Britain. The agency was formed when the Employment Service, which operated Jobcentres, merged with the Benefits Agency, which ran social security offices, and was re-named Jobcentre Plus on 1 April 2002...

, employing 100,000 people. 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
Court Service
Court Service may refer to any of the following institutions:*Jury duty, relating to jury service*Her Majesty's Courts Service, agency responsible for Courts administration in England and Wales*Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service...

 to £4bn for Jobcentre Plus. 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 whole series of reports and white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

s examining governmental delivery were published throughout the 1990s, under both Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 and Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 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 effectives 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 quango
Quango
Quango or qango is an acronym used notably in the United Kingdom, Ireland and elsewhere to label an organisation to which government has devolved power...

s".

Attorney General’s Office
Attorney General for England and Wales
Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known simply as the Attorney General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown. Along with the subordinate Solicitor General for England and Wales, the Attorney General serves as the chief legal adviser of the Crown and its government in...

 

  • National Fraud Authority
    National Fraud Authority
    The National Fraud Authority is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government responsible for increasing protection for the UK economy from the harm caused by fraud. Formerly the National Strategic Fraud Authority, it was set up in October 2008 in response to the government's Fraud Review in...

  • Treasury Solicitor's Department
    Treasury Solicitor's Department
    The Treasury Solicitor's Department is the largest in-house legal organisation in the United Kingdom's Government Legal Service.The Department is headed by the Treasury Solicitor. This office goes back several centuries...


Business, Innovation and Skills
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform .-Ministers:The BIS...

 (Department for)

  • Companies House
    Companies House
    Companies House is the United Kingdom Registrar of Companies and is an Executive Agency of the United Kingdom Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills . All forms of companies are incorporated and registered with Companies House and file specific details as required by the...

  • HM Land Registry
    HM Land Registry
    Land Registry is a non-ministerial government department and executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1862 to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales...

  • Insolvency Service
    Insolvency Service
    The Insolvency Service is an executive agency of the United Kingdom's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which:* administers and investigates the affairs of bankrupts, of companies and partnerships wound up by the court, and establishes why they became insolvent;* acts as...

  • Intellectual Property Office
  • Met Office
    Met Office
    The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

  • National Measurement Office
  • Ordnance Survey
    Ordnance Survey
    Ordnance Survey , an executive agency and non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom, is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, producing maps of Great Britain , and one of the world's largest producers of maps.The name reflects its creation together with...

  • Skills Funding Agency
    Skills Funding Agency
    The Skills Funding Agency is one of two successor organisations that emerged from the closure of the Learning and Skills Council...

  • UK Space Agency
    UK Space Agency
    The UK Space Agency is a United Kingdom government agency responsible for its civil space programme. It was established on 1 April 2010 to replace the British National Space Centre and took over responsibility for government policy and key budgets for space and represents the UK in all negotiations...


Communities and Local Government
Department for Communities and Local Government
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the UK Government department for communities and local government in England. It was established in May 2006 and is the successor to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, established in 2001...

 (Department for)

  • Fire Service College
    Fire Service College
    The Fire Service College is responsible for providing leadership, management and advanced operational training courses for senior fire officers from the UK and foreign fire authorities. It is located at Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire, England...

  • Planning Inspectorate
    Planning Inspectorate
    The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales is an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government of the United Kingdom Government. It is responsible for determining final outcomes of planning and enforcement appeals and public examination of local development plans...

  • Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
    Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
    The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre is a conference centre in the City of Westminster, London. It is located in the heart of the city, a minute's walk from the Palace of Westminster, seat of the United Kingdom's Parliament...


Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, and some aspects of the media throughout the whole UK, such as broadcasting and internet....

 (Department for)

  • Royal Parks Agency

Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 (Ministry of)

  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Defence Support Group
    Defence Support Group
    The Defence Support Group is an executive agency and wholly owned trading fund of the Ministry of Defence. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the merger of Defence Aviation Repair Agency and the Army Base Repair Organisation. It was created under The Defence Support Group Trading Fund Order...

  • Defence Vetting Agency
    Defence Vetting Agency
    The Defence Vetting Agency is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government responsible for vetting employees of the British Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence civil servants, defence contractors, and certain other government departments and organisations who work on contracts with certain...

  • Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency
    Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency
    The Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence. The organisation was formed on 1 April 2004 by the amalgamation of the MoD Police Agency with the Ministry of Defence Guard Service, with the purpose of providing a coordinated approach to the...

  • People, Pay and Pensions Agency
    People, Pay and Pensions Agency
    The People, Pay and Pensions Agency is an Agency of the UK Ministry of Defence. When the agency was formed in April 2006 it subsumed the Pay & Personnel Agency and now provides of all civilian personnel services to the MOD....

  • Service Children's Education
    Service Children's Education
    Service Children's Education is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government responsible for the education of the children of service families and Ministry of Defence personnel serving outside of the United Kingdom...

  • Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
    Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
    The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency was officially launched on 2 April 2007 and is part of the UK Ministry of Defence. SPVA provides personnel, pensions, welfare and support services to members of the UK Armed Forces and veterans and their dependents...

  • United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
    United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
    The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is an organisation within the UK government responsible for providing navigational and other hydrographic information for national, civil and defence requirements...


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom...

  (Department for)

  • Animal Health
    Animal Health
    Animal Health is the UK government's executive agency primarily responsible for ensuring that farmed animals in Great Britain are healthy, disease-free and well looked after....

  • Food and Environment Research Agency
    Food and Environment Research Agency
    The Food and Environment Research Agency, a new Defra executive agency was vested on 1 April 2009.-History:The agency was formed by bringing together the Central Science Laboratory at Sand Hutton, the Plant Health Division / Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate in York, the Plant Variety Rights...

  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
    Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
    The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs...

  • Rural Payments Agency
    Rural Payments Agency
    The Rural Payments Agency is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs .The RPA was created on 16 October 2001 from the amalgamation of the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the Defra Paying Agency as a single paying agency for most Common...

  • Veterinary Laboratories Agency
    Veterinary Laboratories Agency
    The Veterinary Laboratories Agency is an executive agency of the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs . It carries out animal disease surveillance, diagnostic services and veterinary scientific research for government and commercial organisations...

  • Veterinary Medicines Directorate
    Veterinary Medicines Directorate
    The Veterinary Medicines Directorate is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs seeking to protect public health, animal health, the environment and promoting animal welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines in the United...


Forestry Commission
Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. Its mission is to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment....

 (a non-ministerial department)

  • Forest Enterprise (England)
  • Forest Enterprise (Scotland)
  • Forest Research
    Forest Research
    Forest Research is the research agency of the Forestry Commission, a government department in the United Kingdom. Its core roles are to provide the evidence base for UK forestry practices and to support innovation. It has research and office facilities within Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham in...


Health
Department of Health (United Kingdom)
The Department of Health is a department of the United Kingdom government with responsibility for government policy for health and social care matters and for the National Health Service in England along with a few elements of the same matters which are not otherwise devolved to the Scottish,...

 (Department of)

  • Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
    Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is the UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe....


Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 

  • Criminal Records Bureau
    Criminal Records Bureau
    The Criminal Records Bureau , is an Executive Agency of the Home Office, which provides wider access to criminal record information through its Disclosure service for England and Wales...

  • Identity and Passport Service
    Identity and Passport Service
    The Identity & Passport Service is an executive agency of the Home Office in the United Kingdom and became operational on 1 April 2006, succeeding the UK Passport Agency, after the passing of the Identity Cards Act 2006...

  • UK Border Agency
    UK Border Agency
    The UK Border Agency is the border control body of the United Kingdom government and part of the Home Office. It was formed on 1 April 2008 by a merger of the Border and Immigration Agency , UKvisas and the Detection functions of HM Revenue and Customs...


Justice
Ministry of Justice (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Justice is a ministerial department of the UK Government headed by the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, who is responsible for improvements to the justice system so that it better serves the public...

 (Ministry of)

  • HM Courts and Tribunals Service
    Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
    Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service is an agency of the Ministry of Justice. It was created on 1 April 2011 by the merger of Her Majesty's Courts Service and the Tribunals Service....

  • National Offender Management Service
    National Offender Management Service
    The National Offender Management Service is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the correctional services in England and Wales...

  • Office of the Public Guardian
  • The National Archives

Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 (Department for)

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
    Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
    The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the organisation of the UK Government responsible for maintaining a database of drivers and a database of vehicles in Great Britain; its counterpart in Northern Ireland is the Driver & Vehicle Agency...

  • Driving Standards Agency
    Driving Standards Agency
    The Driving Standards Agency is an executive agency of the UK Department for Transport .DSA’s vision is 'Safe Driving for Life'. Its overall mission is to contribute to the public service agreement objective to achieve 40% reduction in riders and drivers killed or seriously injured in road...

  • Government Car and Despatch Agency
    Government Car and Despatch Agency
    The Government Car and Despatch Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport, responsible for providing logistics services to the United Kingdom government and wider public sector....

  • Highways Agency
    Highways Agency
    The Highways Agency is an executive agency, part of the Department for Transport in England. It has responsibility for managing the core road network in England...

  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency
    Maritime and Coastguard Agency
    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a UK executive agency working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and International maritime law and safety policy.This involves coordinating search and rescue at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard , ensuring that...

  • Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
    Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
    Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is a non-departmental public body granted Trading Fund status in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Transport of the United Kingdom Government.-History:...

  • Vehicle Certification Agency
    Vehicle Certification Agency
    The Vehicle Certification Agency is an executive agency of the United Kingdom Department for Transport, and is the UKs Type Approval authority, and a leading certification body...


Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 (HM)

  • Asset Protection Agency
    Asset Protection Agency
    The Asset Protection Agency is an executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, operating as part of HM Treasury. The Agency was created in response to the late-2000s recession to implement the Asset Protection Scheme, part of the 2009 United Kingdom bank rescue package.-External links:*...

  • Royal Mint
    Royal Mint
    The Royal Mint is the body permitted to manufacture, or mint, coins in the United Kingdom. The Mint originated over 1,100 years ago, but since 2009 it operates as Royal Mint Ltd, a company which has an exclusive contract with HM Treasury to supply all coinage for the UK...

  • UK Debt Management Office
    UK Debt Management Office
    The UK Debt Management Office , was established on 1 April 1998. The DMO is responsible for carrying out the Government's debt management policy of minimising financing costs over the long term, taking account of risk, and managing the aggregate cash needs of the Exchequer in the most...


UK Statistics Authority
UK Statistics Authority
The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm's length from Government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament...

 (a non-ministerial department)

  • Office for National Statistics
    Office for National Statistics
    The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...


Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions is the largest government department in the United Kingdom, created on June 8, 2001 from the merger of the employment part of the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Social Security and headed by the Secretary of State for Work and...

 (Department for)

  • Jobcentre Plus
    Jobcentre Plus
    Jobcentre Plus was a government agency for working-age people in Great Britain. The agency was formed when the Employment Service, which operated Jobcentres, merged with the Benefits Agency, which ran social security offices, and was re-named Jobcentre Plus on 1 April 2002...

  • The Pension, Disability and Carers Service
    The Pension, Disability and Carers Service
    The Pension, Disability and Carers Service is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions which was created in April 2008.The PDCS brings together two former separate executive agencies, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service. These two agencies have kept their...

     (incorporating The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service)

Other countries


Several other countries experimented with the executive agency model, often with mixed results. In the United States, the Clinton administration imported the model, but with a modification of the name to "performance-based organizations." In Canada, executive agencies were adopted on a limited basis under the name "special operating agencies." Executive agencies were also established in Japan and Jamaica.

See also

  • Trading Fund
    Trading Fund
    A trading fund is a UK executive agency, government department or part of a department, which has been established as such by means of a Trading Fund Order made under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973....

  • Agency of the European Union
  • Government-owned corporation
    Government-owned corporation
    A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

  • Departments of the United Kingdom Government
    Departments of the United Kingdom Government
    Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Cabinet ministers who are usually called secretaries of state when they are in charge of Government departments called ministerial departments...

  • Non-departmental public body
    Non-departmental public body
    In the United Kingdom, a non-departmental public body —often referred to as a quango—is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, Treasury, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to certain types of public bodies...

  • Independent agencies of the United States government
    Independent agencies of the United States government
    Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...


External references