The Civil Service is at the core of the public services, as it constitutes the administrative arm of central government. The radical changes in the public services since 1979, affecting the NHS, local government, education and the police, have been imposed, steered and monitored by civil servants, as agents of government and the state. But the Civil Service has itself been the target of governmental reforms which it has implemented and executed. A series of initiatives has reduced the size of the Civil Service, changed the way in which it is managed and transformed its culture.
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