Government Department

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A Government Department is a governmental organization usually headed by a minister that is meant to manage a specific sector of public administration.

United Kingdom naming conventions

Government Ministries

In the United Kingdom Government Ministries are usually immediate subdivisions of the cabinet (the executive branch of the government), and subordinate to its chief executive who is called The prime Minister.

Currently on three UK government departments still retain the name they are the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Justice.

During the 20th century, many countries increasingly tended to replace the term "ministry" with words such as "department", "office" or "state secretariat". In some countries, these terms may be used with specific meanings: for example, an office may be a subdivision of a department.

Government Ministers

In the UK government department is composed of employed officials, known as civil servants, and is politically accountable through a Minister. Most major departments are headed by a Secretary of State, who sits in the cabinet, and typically supported by a team of junior ministers.

Government Office

A Government Office a building in which the business of government administration is carried out. Currently in the UK only one government department retains the name the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For an example of this see Navy Office.


  1. Wikipedia:Government Department or Ministry
  2. Wikipedia:Minister (government)Wikipedia:Minister (government)