Managing Change

The Evolving Role of Top Public Servants

image of Managing Change

Recent reforms have put tremendous new demands on the people at the top of the public service. Almost everywhere the emphasis is on doing “more, and better, with less”. This study is an inquiry into how permanent secretaries around the Commonwealth see their jobs. It is based on extensive interviews and surveys of senior officials in over twentyfive Commonwealth countries.



The Role of the Permanent Secretary

In the Westminster model of government, the permanent secretary is the administrative head of a department or ministry. They are “permanent” in the sense that they are normally career civil servants who have tenure beyond the life of any particular government. This system, in which the permanent public service extends to the topmost levels of public administration, is one of the defining characteristics of the Westminster model.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error