Our governance

Our leaders need to set a clear overall direction for the Civil Service so that all our different organisations work as a coherent and effective whole. The head of the Civil Service is supported in this by all his permanent secretaries through the Civil Service Governance Boards.

Civil Service Governance

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service

Sir Jeremy Heywood is the Prime Minister’s most senior policy adviser. He acts as Secretary to the Cabinet and is responsible for:

  • supporting all ministers in the running of government
  • providing professional leadership to the Civil Service

The Civil Service is made up of all government organisations (except for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office). It also includes the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government.

Permanent Secretaries

A permanent secretary is the most senior civil servant in a department. Each supports the government minister at the head of the department, who is accountable to Parliament for the department’s actions and performance.

The permanent secretary is the accounting officer for their department, reporting to Parliament. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of the department, including the budget.

Scottish and Welsh Permanent Secretaries

The permanent secretary of the Scottish Government is accountable to the Scottish Parliament. The permanent secretary of the Welsh Assembly Government is accountable to the National Assembly for Wales. Both contribute to the Civil Service governance, along with other Permanent Secretaries.

Civil Service Board

Civil Service Board (CSB) is the highest level of governance in the Civil Service and its most senior collective leadership body. Chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service it is made up of the Chief Executive and senior permanent secretaries.

CSB takes responsibility at official level for:

  • managing performance and risk to ensure the Civil Service is successfully implementing the government’s programme
  • implementing the government’s programme of Civil Service reform
  • ensuring that lessons learned from National Audit Office or other external reports are shared and actioned across departments
  • promoting the Civil Service as a great place to work and sharing examples of successful Civil Service work
  • setting the future vision for the Civil Service as a whole and solving long term organisational and cultural challenges including around people and technology
  • ensuring that the Civil Service is well prepared for general elections and other external events

As the most senior collective leadership body, members of CSB also support the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service in a programme of visible leadership and engagement with other tiers of the Senior Civil Service (SCS), and the wider Civil Service.

Members

Name Department
Sir Jeremy Heywood (Chair) Head of the Civil Service & Cabinet Secretary
John Manzoni, Chief Executive Civil Service Cabinet Office
Sir Nicholas Macpherson HM Treasury
Melanie Dawes Department for Communities and Local Government
Sir Robert Devereux Department for Work & Pensions
Dame Lin Homer Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Sir Derek Jones Welsh Government
Mark Lowcock Department for International Development
Dame Una O’Brien Department of Health
Mark Sedwill Home Office
Jon Thompson Ministry of Defence
Chris Wormald Department for Education

Corporate Management Board

Corporate Management Board is a formal sub board of the CSB. Its members are permanent secretaries. This board provides high-level oversight of the professional service functions to departments including:

  • overseeing the strategic development and transformation of the corporate functions
  • the development of functional strategies which align with departmental strategies to make the highest possible level of efficiency savings
  • ensuring that the functions’ expert capability is deployed effectively in support of the government’s priorities and efficiency and reform objectives
  • ensuring that these functions are providing a quality service to departments, solving issues of performance or risk raised by permanent secretaries

Members

Name Department
John Manzoni, Chief Executive Civil Service Cabinet Office
Sir Robert Devereux Department for Work & Pensions
Martin Donnelly Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Richard Heaton Ministry of Justice
Dame Lin Homer Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Stephen Lovegrove Department of Energy and Climate Change
Mark Lowcock Department for International Development
Mark Sedwill Home Office
Jon Thompson Ministry of Defence
John Kingman HM Treasury

People Board

The People Board is a formal sub board of CSB. It oversees strategic people-related issues across the Civil Service.

The People Board is responsible for:

  • the development of Civil Service-wide workforce strategies
  • the development of Civil Service-wide policies relating to terms and conditions and pay and pensions for all civil servants, including the strategy for specialist pay
  • the assessment of short, medium and long-term capabilities gaps and the development and implementation of plans to fill them, including strategy for learning and development
  • implementing the Civil Service Diversity Strategy
  • Civil Service-wide employee relation issues

Members

Name Department
Dame Lin Homer Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Debbie Alder Department for Work and Pensions
Natalie Ceeney Ministry of Justice
William Hague Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
John Kingman HM Treasury
Clare Moriarty Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dame Una O’Brien Department of Health
Sue Owen Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Philip Rutnam Department for Transport
Philip Rycroft Cabinet Office
Rupert McNeil Chief People Officer, Cabinet Office
Tom Scholar Cabinet Office
Louise Tullett Ministry of Defence
Julie Taylor Home Office
Ken Thomson Scottish Government
Tamara Finkelstein Department of Health

The Civil Service Shadow Board

The Civil Service Shadow Board (CSSB) has been meeting since March 2015.

The CSSB is responsible for:

  • providing views on the papers going to CSB before each monthly Board meeting
  • undertaking specific corporate projects for CSB to support the management and reform of the Civil Service
  • having a communication role to support the work of CSB both at a service-wide level and in individual department

CSSB members are below SCS level and are nominated by their permanent secretary. Membership mirrors the departments represented on the CSB.

You can read more about the CSSB on their blog.