Asses the Relative Influence of Government Ministers and Civil Servants Within Government Departments

Topics: Civil service, Westminster system, Minister Pages: 2 (557 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Asses the relative influence of government ministers and civil servants within government departments Government ministers are elected MP who have been chosen by the prime ministers to run different government departments, there are known as secretary of state. For example Eric pickles is the secretary of state communities but not all ministers have a department, for example Ken Clarke is a minister without portfolio. Government ministers are temporary. Civil servants work for Her Majesty’s Government. They are permanent and don’t change with the government, for example Dominic Grieve. Permanent secretaries ate the most senior of civil servants that work close with ministers giving them advice and on policies. Civil servants our bound by the official secrets Acts, and so they are bound to secrecy concerning government policy and can be fired if they breach this. This essay will discuss the influence government ministers and civil servants have within government departments. Government ministers have a lot of influence in government departments, as they make the decisions. For example Michael Gove is the secretary of state education, and when it came to the decision of raising the universities tuition fees, he would have had civil servants helping him, and giving him advice, but at the end he would make the last decision. This gives government ministers more influence and power compared to civil servants as the minsters have the final say, and so even if the civil servants was against the minsters decision, there is nothing they can do about it, making the minister more influential then civil servants. Government ministers are also more influential and powerful then civil servants because they have the power to make the civil service smaller, therefore making them less influential. An example of this is Margret Thatcher cut numbers of the civil service from 732,000 to 594,000 over her first seven years in office. This means that the government minsters can make...
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