executive agency

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A semi-autonomous agency that is responsible for delivering a service according to the policy and resources framework of a central government department. Executive agencies do not have a separate legal existence from their “parent” government department and operate under powers delegated by ministers. They therefore remain part of the Civil Service. Each agency is headed by a chief executive who reports to the minister of the department concerned. They are designed to deliver public services more effectively and efficiently and play no role in the development of policy. The intention is that central government should become purely policy-making, leaving service delivery entirely to specialized executive agencies. Examples include the Prison Service, the Passport Agency, Companies House, and the Royal Mint.

Subjects: Law.

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