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Machinery of Government: Departmental Organisation

Volume 510: debated on Wednesday 2 June 2010

I am today outlining machinery of government changes affecting a number of existing Departments of State.

These changes are a result of the formation of the coalition Government and will help implement the programme for Government. Further adjustments may be made and announced in due course.

The Cabinet Office

As previously announced the Deputy Prime Minister has been given special responsibility for political and constitutional reform. To bring this into effect responsibility for the following will transfer from the Secretary of State for Justice to the Deputy Prime Minister:

Introducing fixed-term Parliaments

Legislating to hold a referendum on the alternative vote system for the House of Commons and to create fewer and more equal sized constituencies

Supporting people with disabilities to become MPs

Introducing a power for people to recall their MP

Developing proposals for a wholly or mainly elected second Chamber

Speeding up implementation of individual voter registration

Considering the “West Lothian question”

Introducing a statutory register of lobbyists

Reforming party funding

Supporting all postal primaries

The Deputy Prime Minister will also have policy responsibility for the Electoral Commission, Boundary Commission and Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

The Office of the Third Sector will become the Office for Civil Society and support the Minister for Civil Society who is based in the Cabinet Office.

The Government Equalities Office

The Government Equalities Office, which is responsible for the implementation of the Equality Act 2010, as well as the Government’s overall strategy on equality issues, will report to the Home Secretary, who is also the Minister for Women and Equalities.

The Olympics

Ministerial responsibility for the Olympic and Paralympic games was previously held by the Minister for the Olympics in the Cabinet Office. The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport will now be responsible.


The Secretary of State for Education has replaced the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, and the Department for Children, Schools and Families is renamed the Department for Education.