With the focus on politicians following the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, civil servants face equally tough challenges. The new administrations in Scotland and Wales will be served by civil servants who are part of the unified Civil Service. In the past few months the new working arrangements have been discussed in seminars, but how the plans will work out in practice in unknown. A major element of the challenge will be forging new relationships with Whitehall departments. Sir Richard Wilson, Head of the Civil Service, has expressed his confidence that the new arrangements will be made to work.
The Scottish Office with some 5000 staff was founded in 1885 and the Welsh Office with some 2000 staff came into being in 1965.