Delivery bodies

Our network of partners, delivery bodies and agencies are central to delivering much of our policy.

Delivery landscape

Defra’s ‘delivery landscape’ collectively describes the large number of diverse bodies that help Defra deliver its strategic objectives.  It is large and complex and needs to be understood from many different perspectives. The map enables everyone in both Defra and the wider Defra Network to see a clear and simple picture of all our delivery bodies and how they fit together.

The main types of sponsored body are Defra’s Executive Agencies, and Non departmental public bodies (NPDBs) which includes Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Advisory Non-Departmental Public Bodies (ANDPBs) and Levy Boards.

The Cabinet Office requires all government departments to provide details about their public bodies on an annual basis.  The Cabinet Office publishes a summary of this information for all departments, and departments are also required to publish more detailed information about their bodies. 

The information required by the Cabinet Office for both parts of this only applies to Executive and Advisory Non Departmental Public Bodies, and Tribunals. It does not include Executive Agencies or ad-hoc advisory bodies. The Cabinet Office also require departments to publish details of their NDPBs separately.

Information and guidance to people working with or in Defra’s Executive Agencies and the wide range of Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) who work with Defra:

Review of Arm’s Length Bodies

The government is introducing legislation to increase the accountability of public bodies and reduce their numbers and costs. Defra’s network, in common with Arms Length Bodies across the whole of government, is being reviewed to see what is it that it does that only government can do. The aim is to increase transparency and accountability and to reduce numbers and cost. Defra currently has over 90 Arm’s Length bodies, and a number of decisions about the future of some of them have already been taken and announced publicly. Work to review the rest is still ongoing and further announcements are expected in due course.

Early outcomes of the review already announced include the abolition of the Commission for Rural Communities; the 15 Agricultural Wages Committees, the 16 Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees and the Committee on Agricultural Valuation; the Inland Waterways Advisory Council; and the Commons Commissioners. Other announcements include the merger of Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, the withdrawal of funding for the Sustainable Development Commission and the transfer of non-safety-related food labelling and composition policy, previously with the Food Standards Agency, to the Department.

Page last modified: 12 October 2010