The structure and organisation of the UK civil service has historically been interpreted in terms of the unitary principle. With the exception of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), which has a distinct organisational identity, officials employed by central government worked within a single structure, albeit one that contained substructural variations (including the executive agencies) with the potential for limited flexibilities in matters of pay and service conditions. The civil service was ultimately run from Whitehall, with the Permanent Head of the Home Civil Service as the clearly identifiable senior executive of the entire operation.
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