The DTI, which currently has responsibility for small businesses, will be replaced with a beefed-up energy department and its other responsibilities abolished or distributed among other departments.
According to the Times, aides to Brown said that no hard decisions had been taken but that changes were being considered to deliver better value for money for taxpayers and ensure the right departments could manage the long-term challenges facing Britain. But
one Labour party business supporter close to the chancellor said that the decision had already been taken to scrap the DTI and the only question was how it would be implemented.
Aides denied suggestions that the shake-up, which would occur soon after Brown is expected to become prime minister, would involve splitting the Treasury into a separate Ministry of Finance and a Department of Economic Affairs. This would echo the arrangements under Harold Wilson in the 1960s.
The DTI dates back to 1970, when it was formed by merging the Board of Trade and Ministry of Technology. Under then Secretary of State, Lord Young, in the 1980s it was rebranded as the Department of Enterprise. Tony Blair intended briefly rename the Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry, but it quickly reverted to the DTI after objections from Alan Johnson, the then Secretary of State, who was said to be concerned as possible acronyms for his new department.
The DTI currently employs 10,400 civil servants.
Full article: DTI to be axed in Brown shake-up of Whitehall Times - Dec 2006
If you wish to comment on this article, please log in and use the Reply button below. Registering is simple and easy to do online - see 'Join Shout99'.