Meaning of " Machinery of Government"

3 Machinery is an apt metaphor for the structures and systems of government. A machine is an instrument that exists in order to fulfil a purpose beyond itself. The parts in a machine move and change, and can be replaced or improved. In this paper, the term "machinery of government" refers to:

  • the allocation of functions to and between departments and other government agencies
  • the creation of a new department or other government agency, and the amalgamation or abolition of existing departments and other government agencies
  • the co-ordination of the activities of departments and other government agencies.

4 Reviewing the machinery of government across all areas of government is one of the State Services Commissioner's principal functions [State Sector Act 1988, s.6(a)]. Departments dealing with policy issues that have potential implications for the machinery of government are required to consult the SSC

[Cabinet Office, Step by Step Guide 11.6].

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