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.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service

The Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service is Sir Jeremy Heywood.

As Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy is the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s most senior policy advisor, acting as Secretary to the Cabinet, responsible to all Ministers for the running of the Cabinet Governments.

As Head of the Civil Service Sir Jeremy is responsible for providing professional and corporate leadership to the Civil Service.

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

Permanent secretaries

The most senior civil servant in a department is a Permanent Secretary. Each supports the government minister who heads their department and 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 must make sure their department spends the money allocated to them appropriately.

The Permanent Secretary leading a department is also responsible to the Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary for the effective day-to-day management of their department and its civil servants.

The permanent secretary of the Scottish Government is accountable to the Scottish Parliament. Likewise, the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Assembly Government is accountable to the National Assembly for Wales. The permanent secretaries for both the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government contribute to the Civil Service governance along with other permanent secretaries.

The following people hold the position or Permanent Secretary or an equivalent within the Civil Service.

Name Title Department
Sir Jeremy Heywood Head of the Civil Service & Cabinet Secretary Cabinet Office
John Manzoni Chief Executive of the Civil Service Cabinet Office
Melanie Dawes Permanent Secretary, Communities and Local Government Department for Communities and Local Government
Richard Heaton Permanent Secretary and First Parliamentary Counsel Cabinet Office
Sir Kim Darroch National Security Adviser Cabinet Office
Jon Day Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee Cabinet Office
Tom Scholar Prime Minister’s Adviser: Head of European and Global Issues Cabinet Office
Alison Saunders Director for Public Prosecutions Crown Prosecution Service
Martin Donnelly Permanent Secretary Department for Business Innovation and Skills
Sue Owen Permanent Secretary Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Chris Wormald Permanent Secretary Department for Education
Bronwyn Hill Permanent Secretary Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mark Lowcock Permanent Secretary Department for International Development
Philip Rutnam Permanent Secretary Department for Transport
Robert Devereux Permanent Secretary Department for Work and Pensions
Stephen Lovegrove Permanent Secretary Department of Energy and Climate Change
Una O’Brien Permanent Secretary Department of Health
Professor Dame Sally Davies Chief Medical Officer Department of Health
Sir Simon Fraser Permanent Secretary Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Professor Sir Mark Walport Government Chief Scientific Adviser Government Office for Science
Robert Hannigan Director of Government Communications Headquarters Government Communications Headquarters
Lin Homer Chief Executive HM Revenue and Customs
Edward Troup Second Permanent Secretary, Tax HM Revenue and Customs
Sir Nicholas Macpherson Permanent Secretary HM Treasury
John Kingman Second Permanent Secretary, Economics Ministry HM Treasury
Mark Sedwill Permanent Secretary Home Office
Jon Thompson Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence
Bernard Gray Chief of Defence Materiel Ministry of Defence
Dame Ursula Brennan Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice
Malcolm McKibbin Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Northern Ireland Civil Service
Sir Jonathan Stephens Permanent Secretary Northern Ireland Office
Sir Peter Housden Permanent Secretary Scottish government
Alex Younger Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service Security Intelligence Service (MI6)
Andrew Parker Director General of the Security Service Security Service (MI5)
Jonathan Jones Treasury Solicitor Treasury Solicitor’s Department
John Pullinger National Statistician UK Statistics Authority
Derek Jones Permanent Secretary Welsh government

Our governing bodies

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 and Cabinet Secretary is supported in this by all the permanent secretaries through the Civil Service governance boards. These boards consider the issues that are important to all departments and decide on the best way forward for the whole Civil Service.

The Civil Service Board (CSB), chaired by the Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary, is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Civil Service.

Beneath this is there are also sub-groups which develop policies and proposals on long-term issues such as leadership, employee relations and capability.

In this way all of the permanent secretaries are involved in the long-term development of the Civil Service.

The CSB also write a blog on issues affecting the Civil Service.