The Civil Service

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Cabinet Collective Responsibility
Ministers must keep the details of their discussions a secret. Once a decision is reached, it becomes binding on all Cabinet Ministers. The entire government must resign if there is a vote of no confidence. Have to collectively and publicly defend.
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Individual Ministerial Responsibility
Cabinet Ministers must bear the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department. This backs up the principle of Civil Service anonymity.
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What is the Civil Service?
They do the day to day running of the nation. Civil Servants are not elected, but administer the law by carrying out the decisions made in Cabinet, in their government departments. They have to spot trends, see problems ahead, and bring consistency.
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Top Civil Servants
They are part of the core executive and are known as Mandarins or 'Sir Humphreys'. Their job is to advise the Government Ministers, and make sure they always have the most up to date information. The current Cabinet Secretary is Sir Jeremy Heywood.
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1st Core Principle of the Civil Service
Permanence - allows them to offer honest advice without the fear of being fired. Was considered a job for life, but they have recently introduced fixed term contracts.
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2nd Core Principle of the Civil Service
Neutrality/Impartiality - They must serve the nation and not let their own political opinions shape the advice they give. Labour have complained they re subtly pro-conservative.
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3rd Core Principle of the Civil Service
Anonymity - They should be faceless bureaucrats, who can give frank advice without worrying about getting blamed. Individual ministerial responsibility. Why shouldn't we know who is making our vital decisions? It provides a shield to hide behind.
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4th Core Principle of the Civil Service
Confidentiality - Sign the Official Secrets Act-makes sure nothing that threatens the security of the nation is revealed. It is sometimes argued that we have the right to know some stuff.
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Traditional Constitutional Public Model
This has the Ministers totally dominant, and the Mandarins neutral, and loyal. Where the Civil Servants advise and the Ministers decide.
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Adversarial Model
Suggests a power struggle-instead of working together, both sides push for their agendas. Almost exclusively, this was felt more by Labour Ministers.
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Whitehall Community Model
Paints the picture of a happy and cooperative Whitehall community where everyone works together for the greater good. Ministers provide the vision and drive, while Mandarins bring their expertise and experience. Can end with the Mandarins too loyal.
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Bureaucratic Expansion/Public Choice Model
Most dangerous theory-started in Thatcher's time, where she saw the Civil Service as a huge empire, always looking to gain more power. They claimed it was inefficient and got in the way of effective government.
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Next Steps Report
Sire Derek Raynor and Ibbs, brought in Thatcher's Next Steps Report-it made the Civil Service much smaller by bringing in agencies to do some of their work. They get given performance targets to hold them to account.
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Special Advisors
Their job is to bring the highest level of advice-challenging the power and influence of Mandarins. They have to be non-permanent and non-partisan. However, they are unelected and unaccountable-like an official sofa cabinet.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Cabinet Ministers must bear the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department. This backs up the principle of Civil Service anonymity.

Back

Individual Ministerial Responsibility

Card 3

Front

They do the day to day running of the nation. Civil Servants are not elected, but administer the law by carrying out the decisions made in Cabinet, in their government departments. They have to spot trends, see problems ahead, and bring consistency.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

They are part of the core executive and are known as Mandarins or 'Sir Humphreys'. Their job is to advise the Government Ministers, and make sure they always have the most up to date information. The current Cabinet Secretary is Sir Jeremy Heywood.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Permanence - allows them to offer honest advice without the fear of being fired. Was considered a job for life, but they have recently introduced fixed term contracts.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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