Quick Overview of Executive Agencies

Quick Overview of Executive Agencies

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Quick Overview of Executive AgenciesWhat are Executive Agencies?

Also referred to as next-step departments, executive agencies are a part of a government department (in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland) that is treated as budgetarily, as well as managerially, independent. This relationship and self-funding status is established in order to perform some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive or the Welsh Assembly.
In essence, executive agencies are a fundamental mechanism of the aforementioned government agencies; they are devices distinct from both non-departmental public bodies and non-ministerial government departments, whom enjoy a constitutional and legal separation from ministerial control.

Executive agencies range in size and scope; some executive agencies will employ over 100,000 people and operate under an annual budget of 4 billion pounds, while other agencies will only be comprised of a few dozen people and operate with marginal funds. The primary goal of all executive agencies is to increase efficiency and productivity within the larger governing structure.
Similar to agencies or sub-departments in the United States, executive agencies are tasked with and responsible for niche-based specialties or precise functions. The general belief of those in favor of executive agencies is that by specializing and developing separate bodies to accomplish specific tasks, funding and the allocation of human capital will be divided more appropriately among the governing structure.

Examples of Executive Agencies and the Departments in which they operate under:


Ministry of Defense:

Defense Science and Technology Laboratory

Defense Storage and Distribution Agency

Defense Support Group

Defense Vetting Agency

Ministry of Defense Police and Guarding Agency

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

Service Children’s Education Agency

Communities and Local Government:

The Fire Service College

Ordinance Survey

Planning Inspectorate

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

Business, Innovation and Skills:

Companies House

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Insolvency Service

National Measurement Office

UK Intellectual Property Office

Skills Funding Agency

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Health

Food and Environment Research Agency

Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Marine Management Organization

Rural Payments Agency

Veterinary Laboratories Agency

Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Ministry of Justice:

The National Archives

Office of the Public Guardian

National Offender Management Service

Tribunals Service

HM Land Registry

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