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What are arm's length bodies?

  • Last modified date:
    7 December 2010

The Department of Health works with three kinds of arm’s length bodies (ALBs):

  • Executive agencies have responsibility for particular business areas - the agencies are still part of, and accountable to, the Department
  • Special health authorities are independent bodies, but can be subject to ministerial direction like other NHS bodies
  • Non-departmental public bodies have a role in the process of national government, but are not part of government departments.

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