Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom.[3] It is composed of various units that support Cabinet committees and which co-ordinate the delivery of government objectives via other departments. It currently has just over 2,000 staff, most of whom work in Whitehall. Staff working in the Prime Minister's Office are part of the Cabinet Office.

Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office logo.svg
Cabinet Office (29542331802).jpg
Cabinet Office, Whitehall, London
Department overview
FormedDecember 1916
Preceding Department
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
Headquarters70 Whitehall, London, England
51°30′13″N 0°7′36″W / 51.50361°N 0.12667°W / 51.50361; -0.12667Coordinates: 51°30′13″N 0°7′36″W / 51.50361°N 0.12667°W / 51.50361; -0.12667
Employees7,180[1]
Annual budget£2.1 billion (current) & £400 million (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Ministers responsible
Department executives
Child agencies
WebsiteCabinet Office

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The Cabinet Office's core functions are:[4]

  • Supporting collective government, helping to ensure the effective development, coordination and implementation of policy;
  • Supporting the National Security Council and the Joint Intelligence Organisation, coordinating the government’s response to crises and managing the UK’s cyber security;
  • Promoting efficiency and reform across government through innovation, transparency, better procurement and project management, by transforming the delivery of services, and improving the capability of the Civil Service;
  • Political and constitutional reform.

The Cabinet Office has responsibility for the following at a UK national level:

Devolved nationsEdit

Its main counterparts in the devolved nations are as follows:

Scotland

Northern Ireland [7]

Wales

HistoryEdit

The department was formed in December 1916 from the secretariat of the Committee of Imperial Defence[8] under Sir Maurice Hankey, the first Cabinet Secretary.

Traditionally the most important part of the Cabinet Office's role was facilitating collective decision-making by the Cabinet, through running and supporting Cabinet-level committees. This is still its principal role, but since the absorption of some of the functions of the Civil Service Department in 1981 the Cabinet Office has also helped to ensure that a wide range of Ministerial priorities are taken forward across Whitehall.

It also contains miscellaneous units that do not sit well in other departments. For example:

  • The Historical Section was founded in 1906 as part of the Committee for Imperial Defence and is concerned with Official Histories.[9]
  • The Joint Intelligence Committee was founded in 1936 and transferred to the department in 1957. It deals with intelligence assessments and directing the national intelligence organisations of the UK.
  • The Ceremonial Branch was founded in 1937 and transferred to the department in 1981. It was originally concerned with all ceremonial functions of state, but today it handles honours and appointments.

In modern times the Cabinet Office often takes on responsibility for areas of policy which are the priority of the Government of the time. The units that administer these areas migrate in and out of the Cabinet Office as government priorities (and governments) change.

MinistersEdit

The Cabinet Office Ministers are as follows:[10]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP Prime Minister
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
Minister for the Union
Head of government; oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies; appoints members of the government; he is the principal government figure in the House of Commons.
The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP Minister for the Cabinet Office
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Advising the Prime Minister on developing and implementing government policy; driving forward government business and implementation including chairing and deputy chairing Cabinet committees and implementation taskforces; overseeing devolution consequences of EU exit; overseeing constitutional affairs and maintaining the integrity of the Union.
The Rt Hon. The Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
The Leader of the House of Lords is responsible for the organisation of government business in the House, providing assistance to all Lords and offering advice on procedure. The Leader also expresses the collective feelings of the House on formal occasions, such as motions of thanks or congratulations.
Amanda Milling MP Minister without Portfolio Supporting the Cabinet Office; The Minister without Portfolio is a member of Cabinet.
The Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
The Leader of the House of Commons organises government business in the House of Commons and works closely with the government’s Chief Whip.
Honorary Commander The Rt Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP Paymaster General TBD
Chloe Smith MP Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution TBD
The Rt Hon. The Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (joint with HM Treasury) TBD
The Rt Hon. The Lord True Minister of State TBD
Julia Lopez MP Parliamentary Secretary, Minister for Implementation TBD
Johnny Mercer MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (joint with Ministry of Defence) Civilian and service personnel policy, armed forces pay, pensions and compensation, Armed Forces Covenant, welfare and service families; community engagement, equality, diversity and inclusion, veterans (including resettlement, transition, defence charities and Ministerial Covenant and Veterans Board, and Office of Veteran Affairs), legacy issues and non-operational public inquiries and inquests, mental health, Defence Medical Services

the people programme (Flexible Engagement Strategy, Future Accommodation Model and Enterprise Approach), estates service family accommodation policy and engagement with welfare.

The Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service is Sir Mark Sedwill; the Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive of the Home Civil Service is Sir John Manzoni; the Chief Negotiator of Task Force Europe is the Prime Minister's Europe Adviser, David Frost.

The Cabinet Office also supports the work of:

CommitteesEdit

Cabinet committees have two key purposes:[11]

  • To relieve the burden on the Cabinet by dealing with business that does not need to be discussed at full Cabinet. Appeals to the Cabinet should be infrequent, and Ministers chairing Cabinet Committees should exercise discretion in advising the Prime Minister whether to allow them.
  • To support the principle of collective responsibility by ensuring that, even though a question may never reach the Cabinet itself, it will be fully considered. In this way, the final judgement is sufficiently authoritative that Government as a whole can be expected to accept responsibility for it. In this sense, Cabinet Committee decisions have the same authority as Cabinet decisions.

BuildingsEdit

 
The entrance to the Cabinet Office.

The main building of the Cabinet Office is at 70 Whitehall, adjacent to Downing Street. The building connects three historically distinct properties, as well as the remains of Henry VIII's 1530 tennis courts, part of the Palace of Whitehall, which can be seen within the building. The Whitehall frontage was designed by Sir John Soane and completed by Sir Charles Barry between 1845 and 1847 as the Treasury Buildings. Immediately to the west Dorset House (1700) connects the front of the building to William Kent's Treasury (1733–36), which faces out onto Horse Guards Parade. The latter is built over the site of the Cockpit, used for cock fighting in the Tudor period, and subsequently as a theatre. In the early 1960s the buildings were restored and many of the Tudor remains were exposed and repaired. Significant renovations between 2010 and 2016 converted many of the floors to open plan and created new office space. The Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms are located on this site.

The department occupies other buildings in Whitehall and the surrounding area, including part of 1 Horse Guards, as well as sites in other parts of the country.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/datasets/publicsectoremploymentreferencetable. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  3. ^ This should be distinguished from the Prime Minister's personal staff who form the Prime Minister's Office.
  4. ^ "Cabinet Office, About Us". HM Government. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. ^ Government Commercial Function: Looking to the Future, accessed 5 May 2019
  6. ^ Government Commercial Function, Government Commercial Organisation, published 5 June 2018, accessed 5 May 2019
  7. ^ "Departments (Transfer and Assignment of Functions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1999". www.legislation.gov.uk.
  8. ^ "Research Guide: Cabinet Office Records - Your Archives". webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  9. ^ "National Archive Series reference CAB 103". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Our ministers". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  11. ^ "A Guide to Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Business" (PDF). London: Cabinet Office. 2008: 44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External linksEdit