Non-ministerial government department

Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of British government department that deal with matters for which direct political oversight has been judged unnecessary or inappropriate. They are headed by senior civil servants. Some fulfil a regulatory or inspection function, and their status is therefore intended to protect them from political interference. Some are headed by a permanent office holder, such as a Permanent Secretary or Second Permanent Secretary.[1]

The status of an NMGD varies considerably from one to another. For example:[2]

List of non-ministerial departments

A list of NMGDs is maintained by the Cabinet Office, which currently states that the following 21 are in existence:[3]


  1. Government Departments and Agencies, Government, Citizens and Rights, DirectGov.
  2. How to be a Civil Servant, What is a Civil Servant?
  3. Non-ministerial Departments, Retrieved 25 November 2015
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