Private Secretary

In the United Kingdom government, a Private Secretary is a civil servant in a Department or Ministry, responsible to the Secretary of State or Minister. The senior civil servant in charge of administering the department is usually entitled the Permanent Secretary, and may also have a Private Secretary.

A Private Secretary (PS) is normally of middle management level however, as the key official responsible for disseminating the decision of Ministers and indeed as their gatekeeper, their role is of considerably greater significance than the grade or level they hold suggests. They will be assisted by one or more Assistants - and or Deputy Secretaries, or even head a whole office in which those may be section chiefs.

Where the Private Secretary is a member of the Senior Civil Service, they will be referred to as a Principal Private Secretary, making the order of precedence Principal Private Secretary, Senior Private Secretary (rarely now in existence), Private Secretary, and Assistant Private Secretary (APS). A similar role to a Principal Private Secretary in the United States Administration would be a 'Chief of Staff'.

Private Secretaries are the principal link between a government Minister and officials in the Department or Ministry. He or she has overall responsibility for coordinating the development of the Minister's policy remit, ensuring that the aims of Ministers are clearly and fully implemented by the Department. In that respect a PS will often be in a position of debate with colleagues of much higher seniority.

A PS or an APS is always in attendance with the Minister at every meeting or event to provide support and to ensure that a member of the UK civil service, who are non-political appointees, takes a factual note of discussions and commitments.

They also have ownership of the Ministerial diary, managing the Ministerial Diary Secretary whose task is to sift and prioritise invites, commitments, policy briefings and parliamentary business. A PS is always the initial source of advice to Ministers on parliamentary protocol, the process of cabinet business and departmental policy.

Working in Private Office as a Private Secretary or an Assistant Private Secretary is often seen as essential for advancement to the Senior Civil Service.

Depending upon the seniority of their political principal, a Private Secretary may him or herself be regarded as an important official in their own right; the Queen's Private Secretary and the Downing Street Private Secretary being the most important.

A Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) is a Member of Parliament appointed to act as unpaid assistant to a Minister. The PPS allows the Prime Minister, or minister, to reward party colleagues without cost, and test potential future ministers, and strengthens the Whip system as a PPS is expected to support the government's policies and vote for them in the parliament, regardless of their personal opinions.

Other articles related to "secretary, private secretary":

Stanisław Dziwisz - Early Life, Ordination, and Priesthood
... elevated to Archbishop of Kraków, to serve as his personal secretary Dziwisz would remain in this position until Wojtyła's death in 2005 ... In addition to his duties as personal secretary to Archbishop Wojtyła, Dziwisz served as professor of liturgy at the Superior Catechetical Institute in Kraków, editor of the official newspaper of the ... of Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II, Dziwisz was appointed as the new Pope's principal Private Secretary, and in that capacity he moved to the Vatican with the new Pontiff ...
Lord Butler - Civil Service Career
... civil service from 1961 to 1998, serving as Private Secretary to five Prime Ministers ... He was Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998 ... He joined HM Treasury in 1961, becoming Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1964–66 and Secretary to the Budget Committee 1965–69 ...
List Of University Of Oxford People In British Public Life - Members of The Royal Household
1982– George Bellew Christ Church Garter Principal King of Arms 1950–61, Secretary of the Order of the Garter 1961–74 John Brooke-Little New College Clarenceux King of ...
Administrative Department Of The Presidency Of The Republic (Colombia) - History
... the Office of the President of the Republic consisted of the Private Secretary and a scribe ... state of health, suppressed the offices of Private Secretary and Scribe, creating in place the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic (Secretaría General de la Presidencia de ... Secretariat of Information and Press, the Private Secretary, and the Military House ...
Charles Beaumont Phipps
... Governor of Jamaica, and Charles accompanied him as his private secretary ... He was appointed private secretary to Prince Albert on 1 January 1847, and went on half-pay from the Army later that month as a lieutenant-colonel ... to Prince Albert, resigning his post as private secretary ...

Famous quotes containing the words secretary and/or private:

    ... the wife of an executive would be a better wife had she been a secretary first. As a secretary, you learn to adjust to the boss’s moods. Many marriages would be happier if the wife would do that.
    Anne Bogan, U.S. executive secretary. As quoted in Working, book 1, by Studs Terkel (1973)

    Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort. Do not talk to him about the interests and rights of the human race; that little private business of his for the moment absorbs all his thoughts, and he hopes that public disturbances can be put off to some other time.
    Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859)