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
David Cameron, MP

since 12 May 2010
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder Harold Wilson
Formation 1 November 1968
Website The Civil Service
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
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In British government, the Minister for the Civil Service is responsible for making 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 Ministry was created for Harold Wilson on 1 November 1968 when responsibilities for the pay and management of the civil service was transferred from Her Majesty's Treasury to a new Civil Service Department;[3] to make clear the continued authority of the First Lord of the Treasury (an office held by the Prime Minister) over the Civil Service, a constitutional convention arose that the Prime Minister would be head of the Department.[4]

Since its inception, the brief has always been held concurrently with the offices of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury; 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 of 1992, the Minister may delegate his power to ministers and others such as the Scottish Government.[5] Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Tom Watson to be responsible for the civil service as the Minister for Digital Engagement and Civil Service Issues.[6]


  1. Civil Service Order in Council 1995 Published by the UK Civil Service Commissioners
  2. Her Majesty’s Government The Prime Minister’s Office
  3. Terence Daintith, Alan C. Page (1999-01-01), The executive in the constitution: structure, autonomy, and internal control, ISBN 9780198268703<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. David Wood, "Ministers in merger dilemma", The Times, 17 October 1968, p. 1.
  5. Colin Pilkington (1999), The Civil Service in Britain today, ISBN 9780719052248<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Cabinet Office (PDF)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>