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THE UK SECTION: CIVIL SERVANTS

The official Head of the Civil Service is the senior Joint Permanent Secretary to the Treasury.
Each department of the Civil Service contains representatives of each of the four main classes of officers. These are as follows:

    the Administrative Class, recruited largely from university graduates - its function is to prepare legislation and to carry out government decisions;

    the Executive Class - responsible for day to day conduct of government business;

    the Clerical Class - deals with routine clerical work;

    the General Grades - cleaners, messengers, typists etc.

In addition to the classes mentioned there are specialist classes, including lawyers, doctors, scientists etc.

Because the civil servant is legally a servant of the Crown his position is theorectically very insecure. The Crown has no enforceable obligations to its employees and can dismiss them at will. In practice, however, a Civil Service position represents a lifetime of security and stability. It carries with it the odd and little-known compensation that a servant of the Crown cannot be sued for debt.
Although legally responsible only to the Crown, the civil servant in practice serves the secretary at the head of his/her department. The position is, however, unaffected by political changes and it is his duty to serve the government of the day whatever his/her own political opinions may be.


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