Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Agencies, ministers and civil servants in Britain

Hogwood, Brian W. and Judge, D. and McVicar, M. (2001) Agencies, ministers and civil servants in Britain. In: Politicians, Bureaucrats and Administrative Reform. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 35-44. ISBN 0415234433

PDF (strathprints001797.pdf)

Download (78kB) | Preview


Huge variations exist in the relationships between politicians and agenciesin Britain, from very frequent contact in a politicised atmosphere to thecomplete absence of a direct relationship at all. The nature of therelationship appears to be determined less by agency status as such as bythe political sensitivity of particular policy issues. While politicians are notinvolved in the day-to-day running of most agencies, they have beenconcerned with operational matters in a small number of agencies. Whilemany agencies have no direct input into policy issues (and there are fewdirectly concerning them), in a limited number of cases the agency is themain source of policy advice because it is the repository of expertise, andin others the agency has the right to be consulted about any policyproposals affecting them, and to make policy proposals. The British NextSteps agency form, because of it relatively informal status, is relativelyadaptable to new purposes. Thus, agency status as such has provided littlehindrance to the new Labour government. Similarly, while agencies wereoriginally set up and largely operate with a vertical perspective on meetingtheir own targets, the form is adaptable to cross-organisational targets,though it cannot solve conflicting objectives or policies.