chapter  2
24 Pages

The Whitehall universe: departments and agencies

This chapter examines ‘Whitehall’, the collective name for central administration. Although many public services are provided by subordinate agencies (such as devolved assemblies and local authorities), Britain’s political system has traditionally been highly centralised, and fundamental decisions are usually taken at the centre. It is to central administration, therefore, that we turn, focusing on government departments and the executive agencies, popularly known as Next Steps Agencies (NSAs), which represent the main organisational units in Whitehall.