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The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior civil servant in the United Kingdom. He or she acts as the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and as the Secretary to the Cabinet, responsible to all Ministers for the running of Cabinet Government. The role is currently occupied by Jeremy Heywood, appointed in January 2012;
In most cases the true influence of the Cabinet Secretary extends far beyond administrative matters, and reaches to the very heart of the decision making process. For instance, the Cabinet Secretary is responsible for administering the Ministerial Code which governs the conduct of ministers (also known as the Rule Book and formerly Questions of Procedure for Ministers). In this duty the Cabinet Secretary may be asked to investigate "leaks" within government, and enforce Cabinet discipline. Unusually in a democracy, this gives the unelected Cabinet Secretary some authority over elected ministers (a situation satirised in the BBC sitcom Yes, Prime Minister), although the constitutional authority of the Code is somewhat ambiguous. The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for overseeing the intelligence services and their relationship to the government, though since 2002 this responsibility has been delegated to a full-time role (initially as Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator, now the Head of Intelligence, Security & Resilience working to the National Security Adviser), with the Cabinet Secretary focussing on civil service reforms to help deliver the government's policy programme.