Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of department of the United Kingdom government 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 as of January 2023 states that the following 20 are in existence:[3]


  1. ^ Government Departments and Agencies Archived 10 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Government, Citizens and Rights, DirectGov.
  2. ^ How to be a Civil Servant Archived 20 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, What is a Civil Servant?
  3. ^ Non-ministerial Departments, Retrieved 22 January 2023