What is central government?
Central government have the main responsibility of running the country. They are in charge of developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws as well as funding most of the country’s spending.
What makes up a central government?
The government has approximately 100 members. The most senior members include the Prime Minister, Secretaries of State, Ministers of State and Parliamentary Under Secretaries. The Prime Minister has the responsibility of being in charge and appointing the other members of the government.
There are many key departments within central government and they all play a vital but very different role in running the country. The departments range from the Home Office and the Department of Health, to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
These departments are headed by Secretaries of State who have overall responsibility and are staffed by impartial civil servants who receive their funding from money provided by Parliament. Civil servants provide vital advice.
The Secretaries of State from every department and some ministers meet once a week to discuss the issues affecting the country, they are known as the Cabinet. This is a smaller gathering of government, which creates speedier and more concise decision making and therefore forms the main decision making body in central government.
The work of each of the departments is important and relevant to everyone in the UK, regardless of their location.
For a list of useful links to central government departments responsible for delivering selected key services to UK citizens on a national basis, please see the websites section.
Departments and services are listed alphabetically.