chapter  4
19 Pages

Executive agencies and joined-up government in the UK

ByOliver James

The ‘Next Steps’ agency creation process was launched in 1988. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, over three quarters of all UK civil servants worked in 138 agencies or bodies working on agency lines (James 2003). The reform has been emulated in some aspect by several other countries, and issues surrounding the performance of agencies in the UK are of broad interest (Pollitt et al. 2000; James 2001b; James 2003; Talbot 2002). Individual agencies set up under the reform in the UK differ in many respects. However, they share two core features of the executive agency model, defined as the structures suggested in the report by the Prime Minister’s Efficiency Unit (1988) that initiated the reform and early government guidance on setting up agencies (James 2003).