Catalogue description Records of Administration and Finance

Details of Division within MAF
Reference: Division within MAF
Title: Records of Administration and Finance

Internal records of the agriculture departments, relating to private office, finance personnel and other administrative matters.

The records relate to:

Date: 1839-2006
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, Establishment Branch, 1903-1919

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Establishment Division, 1919-1955

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Establishment and Organisation Department, 1955-1969

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Establishment Department, 1969-1997

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Management Services and Information Department, 1979-1991

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Management Services Department, 1969-1979

Physical description: 37 series
Administrative / biographical background:

Establishment and Management Departments, 1903-1955

Before the First World War the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries organisation and staffing matters were dealt with by an Establishment Branch, while registry procedure was controlled by the Chief Clerk's Branch. These were combined after the war to form an Establishment Division which was responsible for all establishment matters, including pay, personnel, pensions and superannuation, accommodation, and welfare.

In 1946, the Parliamentary Branch was briefly transferred from the principal private secretary responsible for legal matters to the control of the Establishment Department. After the war, the Establishment Department was split in two, Division I dealing with headquarters establishment matters, and Division II dealing with those for the ministry's regional organisation necessitated by the creation of the National Agricultural Advisory Service. In 1949 an Organisation and Methods Division was created to carry out management organisational reviews for the entire ministry, but in 1953 this was absorbed as a branch within Establishment Division I.

Establishment and Management Departments, 1955-1981

In 1955 the merger with the Ministry of Food saw an immediate increase in the number of Establishment Divisions to five, grouped in a new Establishment and Organisation Department. This was diminised to four establishment divisions by 1958, and by 1962, three. Of these, Establishment Division I dealt with central management services functions, Division II with pay, personnel and pension functions, and Division III with general office services.

From 1965 the department had responsibility for the remaining enforcement and inspection functions when they passed from the Information and Investigation Division, in Establishment Division I and then the Personnel Division I. This arrangement of the department continued until 1969, when Divisions I and II were re-named and split between the headquarters and regional functions. At the same time, Establishment Division III was renamed Office Services Division. Shortly thereafter, the Establishment and Organisation Department was divided, replaced by an Establishment Department (the Personnel and Office Services Divisions) and a Management Services Department. A Planning Unit was set up in the Management Services Department to carry out policy analysis studies and corporate planning functions. In 1971, this unit was removed from the department and instead reported directly to the permanent secretary.

The Establishments Department's functions and organisation remained basically unchanged until 1981. The Management Services Department gained functions, including responsibility for the ministry's manpower requirements, industrial relations and pay (Management Services Division I), staff inspection and the management by objectives programme (Division II). In 1976 a third division was created, and the functions of the division reallocated, to allow for the extra work created to plan for the government proposals to devolve parts of the central government machine to Scotland and Wales. When these proposals were rejected in two referenda, however, the business of the department was reorganised again into the original two divisions, though Division I also acquired responsibility for reviewing the application of automatic data processing in the ministry. In 1979 the Information Division was added to the department, which was renamed the Management Services and Information Department.

Establishment and Management Departments, 1981 -

In 1981 there was a general reorganisation of responsibilities between the two departments. Establishments Department now consisted of a single merged Personnel Division, a Manpower Division and a Pay and Industrial Relations Division, including the investigation functions. In the latter the Information Division continued unaltered, but there was a single Management Services Division dealing with staff inspection and the review of computer applications. Office Services Division was transferred across from Establishments Department.

The Management Services and Information Department gained responsibility for the ministry's computer divisions in 1983, and from 1988 it had a Buildings Project Unit (from 1989 Buildings and Estates Management Division) separate from the Office Services Division to manage the ministry's extensive estate and plan new building projects. The department was abolished in 1991, management services functions passing to a new Audit, Consultancy and Management Services Division in the Finance Department. Office services and estates divisions passed unchanged to the Establishments Department. Other functions of the Management Services and Information Department were transferred to the Regional Services and Agencies Department in the case of the IT Directorate, or reported directly to the Permanent Secretary (the Information Division).

The Office Services Division assumed responsibility for the relocation of certain headquarters divisions from London to York in the early 1990s. In 1993, a merged Establishments (General) and Office Services Division was formed. The Personnel Division was re-named the Personnel Management and Development Division. In 1995 a separate Pay Strategy Unit was established in the department to handle functions devolved from the Treasury to all government departments to take responsibility for negotiating and settling their own pay levels.

Finance Department

The ministry's Finance Department originated in an Accounts Branch established by the Board of Agriculture soon after it was set up. In 1955, there was a Finance Division and an Accounts Division. Following the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with the Ministry of Food, the department expanded to include numerous ex-Ministry of Food produce-based finance divisions (eg the Bakery (Finance) Division, the Sugar (Finance) Division and the Cold Storage (Finance) Division), but these were abolished and residual work absorbed into the relevant divisions in 1959.

A separate Finance Division was still in place in 1965, but the rest of the department consisted of a Trading Accounts and Costing Division, an Appropriation Accounts and Data Processing Division and an Audit Division. By 1975, the arrangement was into Finance Division I (dealing with the implications of UK and EEC policies to support agricultural income and investment) and Finance Division II (other finance matters), the Appropriation Accounts and Data Processing Division, and an Audit and Costings Division. By 1985, Finance Division I responsibilities had been broadened to include appropriation accounts, accountancy advice and costings and the co-ordination of public expenditure surveys, estimates and cash limits.

Finance Division II continued to administer general financial policy, but there was a separate Financial Management Team (to deal with the Government's financial management initiative), and an Audit Division. In 1994, the organisation was as follows: a Financial Policy Division (budgeting, vote monitoring, longer term financial planning ); a Financial Management Division (including appropriation accounts, internal charging, and policy support on market testing and in-house bids); a Market Testing and Procurement Advice Division; and an Audit, Consultancy and Management Services Division. Throughout these changes, the department has, in addition to its responsibilities for various governmental financial initiatives, exercised general control over the financial policy and expenditure of the ministry as well as accounting and audit work.

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