Key Terms Unit 2 - The Core Executive

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The Core Executive
This is the network of key institutions in Britain, the people and practices at the heart of government.
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Civil Servants
Servants of the Crown, other than holders of political or judicial offices, who are employed in a civil capacity and whose remuneration is paid wholly and directly out of moneys voted by parliament
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Cabinet Government
A system in which the Cabinet forms a collective political executive, with each member having in theory an equal influence, other than the Prime Minister who is ‘first among equals’.
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Prime Ministerial Government
A system in which the office of Prime Minister has become a power-house, executive power being concentrated in his or her hands. Policy making is dominated by the Prime Minister rather than by the collective will of the Cabinet
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Cabinet Committees
Appointed by the Prime Minister to deal with aspects of government business. Decisions made in Committee have full Cabinet authority and may not always be taken to the whole Cabinet for discussion
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Richard Crossman
An academic and Labour MP/Minister in the Wilson governments. He advanced the theory of prime ministerial government in the early 1960’s
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Task Forces
Bring together civil servants and outside experts to tackle issues that do not easily fit within the orbit of any one department. An important innovation of the Blair government, they were designed to improve the quality of decision making in gov
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Parliamentary Private Secretaries
Unpaid assistants who serve as parliamentary contact for their minister. Appointment to this rank is seen as the first step on the promotion ladder for an MP
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Patronage
Political patronage is the granting of favours or rewards, in this case the right to appoint people to important and often highly prestigious public offices
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The Privy Council
Comprises all members of the Cabinet, former Cabinet Ministers and other distinguished persons appointed by the Monarch.
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Executive Agencies
Carry out some of the administrative functions of government previously the responsibility of civil service departments. They operate as semi-autonomous agencies at arm’s length from the sponsoring department.
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Privatisation
The process of converting public amenities and services into private ones, a feature of Conservative economic policy in the 1980s and 1990s
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Outsourcing
The practice of contracting out (paying a private provider to deliver) a service either to itself or to itself or to the public that was once provided ‘in house’
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Special Advisers
Advisers are appointed to provide political advice, assessment and support to ministers, offering an alternative perspective to those provided by civil servants
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The Next Step Programme
Advanced in the late 1980s to transform civil service institutional arrangements following publication of the Ibbs Report, most notably by the creation of executive agencies
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Bureaucracy
Government by non elected salaried administrative officers. Such officials conduct the detailed business of public administration and advise of and apply ministerial decisions. In Britain, it is more usual to speak of the civil service
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Card 2

Front

Servants of the Crown, other than holders of political or judicial offices, who are employed in a civil capacity and whose remuneration is paid wholly and directly out of moneys voted by parliament

Back

Civil Servants

Card 3

Front

A system in which the Cabinet forms a collective political executive, with each member having in theory an equal influence, other than the Prime Minister who is ‘first among equals’.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A system in which the office of Prime Minister has become a power-house, executive power being concentrated in his or her hands. Policy making is dominated by the Prime Minister rather than by the collective will of the Cabinet

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Appointed by the Prime Minister to deal with aspects of government business. Decisions made in Committee have full Cabinet authority and may not always be taken to the whole Cabinet for discussion

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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