Permanent Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) and Head of the Civil Service

Sir Bob Kerslake

Sir Bob Kerslake



Sir Bob Kerslake became Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 1 November 2010. Since 1 January 2012 he has also been Head of the Civil Service, where he gives professional and corporate leadership to the civil service.

Sir Bob started his career in local government with the Greater London Council handling transport finance. His previous roles include:

  • Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, the national housing and regeneration agency for England
  • Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, the fourth largest in England
  • London Borough of Hounslow as director of finance and a further 7 years as chief executive
  • a post at the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA)

Sir Bob has also been a non-executive board member at DCLG and was a member of both the Equalities Review Panel and the National Employment Panel.

Permanent Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

The Permanent Secretary is responsible for the day-to-day running of the department, in particular its spending.

They also head the department’s leadership team and serve on the DCLG executive management board, which advises on and supervises:

  • strategic clarity - ensuring all the department’s activities are aligned and consistent
  • commercial sense - advising on the sign-off of large operational projects or programmes and ensuring there is sound financial management and risk management
  • talented people - ensuring the department has the capability to deliver and to plan to meet current and future needs
  • results focus - agreeing the operational business plan and keeping a check on the department’s sponsored bodies
  • management information - ensuring that clear, consistent, comparable performance information is used to drive improvements

    + others

    Ministerial department

    1. Cabinet Office


    1. Civil Service Reform

    Civil Service

    1. Civil Service

    Head of the Civil Service

    The Head of the Civil Service leads nearly half a million public servants who work in public institutions, administer tax, benefits and pensions systems and put government policy into practice. The civil service is a permanent, politically impartial workforce that serves the government of the day, while retaining the flexibility to serve future governments.

    Currently civil servants are supporting the government’s economic and public service reform. The scale of the challenges and persistent weaknesses require a reform plan that applies right across the civil service. The Head of the Civil Service is one of several senior civil servants accountable for the reform of the civil service through the Civil Service Board.

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