Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, the building of a digital economy, and some aspects of the media throughout the UK, such as broadcasting and Internet.
It also has responsibility for the tourism, leisure and creative industries (some joint with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). The department was also responsible for the delivery of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
History and responsibilities
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DCMS originates from the Department of National Heritage (DNH), which itself was created on 11 April 1992 out of various other departments, soon after the Conservative election victory. The former ministers for the Arts and for Sport had previously been located in other departments.
DNH was renamed as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 14 July 1997, under the premiership of Tony Blair. It was renamed to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 3 July 2017, staying DCMS under the premiership of Theresa May to reflect the department's increased activity in the digital sector.
DCMS was the co-ordinating department for the successful bid by London to host the 2012 Olympics and appointed and oversees the agencies delivering the Games' infrastructure and programme, principally the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and LOCOG.
The June 2007 Cabinet reshuffle led to Tessa Jowell MP taking on the role of Paymaster General and then Minister for the Cabinet Office while remaining Minister for the Olympics. Ministerial responsibility for the Olympics was shared with Ms Jowell in the Cabinet Office, but the staff of the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) remained based in DCMS.
Following the 2010 general election, ministerial responsibility for the Olympics returned to the Secretary of State. Although Jeremy Hunt's full title was Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the department's name remained unchanged. On 4 September 2012, Hunt was appointed Health Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle and replaced by Maria Miller. Maria Miller later resigned due to controversy over her expenses. Her replacement was announced later that day as Sajid Javid.
After the 2015 general election, John Whittingdale was appointed as Secretary of State, tasked with initiating the BBC Charter review process. DCMS received full responsibility for the digital economy policy, formerly jointly held with BIS, and sponsorship of the Information Commissioner's Office from the Ministry of Justice.
Whittingdale was replaced by Karen Bradley after the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in July 2016. The Office for Civil Society moved from the Cabinet Office to DCMS as part of the same reshuffle.
In January 2018, Matthew Hancock, previous Minister of State for Digital, was appointed Secretary of State as part of a Cabinet reshuffle. In the 9 July 2018 reshuffle, Jeremy Wright became the Secretary of State. Nicky Morgan became Secretary of State in July 2019; she stood down as an MP at the 2019 United Kingdom general election but was ennobled as Baroness Morgan of Cotes and retained her position from within the House of Lords. As part of the 13 February 2020 reshuffle, Oliver Dowden MP was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
It is responsible for government policy in the following areas:
- The arts
- Broadcasting, including the BBC
- Internet and international ICT policy
- Telecommunications and broadband
- Civil society
- Creative industries
- Historic environment
- Architecture and design
- Cultural property and heritage
- Digital economy
- Entertainment licensing
- Gambling and racing
- Press freedom and regulation
- Museums and galleries
- The National Lottery
- Olympic legacy
The Secretary of State has responsibility for the maintenance of the land and buildings making up the historic Royal Estate under the Crown Lands Act 1851. These inherited functions, which were once centralised in the Office of Works, are now delivered as follows:
- The Royal Parks are maintained by an executive agency within DCMS, the Royal Parks Agency;
- The unoccupied royal palaces in England are managed by a contract with Historic Royal Palaces;
- Maintenance of the occupied royal palaces in England was funded by an annual grant-in-aid to the Royal Household until 31 March 2012. The Secretary of State for Culture retains legal responsibility for these palaces, but from 1 April 2012 this funding was amalgamated with the Civil List into a single Sovereign Grant administered by HM Treasury. DCMS continues to make a separate small grant to the Royal Household for the maintenance of Marlborough House
The department also has responsibility for state ceremonial occasions and royal funerals. However, responsibility for the Civil List element of head-of-state expenditure and income from the separate Crown Estate remains with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
DCMS works jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on design issues, including sponsorship of the Design Council, and on relations with the computer games and publishing industries.
DCMS organises the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph and has responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance in the event of a disaster. In the government's response to the 7 July 2005 London bombings the department coordinated humanitarian support to the relatives of victims and arranged the memorial events.
DCMS has also supported cyber initiatives such as the UK Cyber Security Forum to support innovation in the cyber industry.
The DCMS ministers are as follows:
The Permanent Secretary since the end of March 2019 is Sarah Healey.
Bodies sponsored by DCMS
The DCMS has policy responsibility for three statutory corporations and two public broadcasting authorities. These bodies and their operation are largely independent of government policy influence.
In September 2015, DCMS gained sponsorship of one non-ministerial department:
The statutory corporations are:
The public corporations are:
- British Broadcasting Corporation
- Sianel Pedwar Cymru – and the S4C Authority which regulates and manages S4C
Non-departmental public bodies
The DCMS sponsors the following executive non-departmental public bodies including a number of museums and galleries:
- Arts Council England
- British Film Institute
- British Library
- British Museum
- Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Gambling Commission
- Geffrye Museum
- Historic England (separated from English Heritage in 2015, formally the Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England)
- Horniman Museum
- Horserace Betting Levy Board
- Imperial War Museum
- Information Commissioner's Office
- National Gallery
- National Heritage Memorial Fund (the Trustees of the NHMF also administer the Heritage Lottery Fund)
- National Maritime Museum
- National Museums Liverpool
- National Portrait Gallery
- Natural History Museum
- Royal Armouries
- Science Museum Group
- Sir John Soane's Museum
- Sport England (formally the English Sports Council)
- Sports Grounds Safety Authority
- UK Anti-Doping
- UK Sport (formally the UK Sports Council)
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- VisitBritain (formally the British Tourist Authority)
- Wallace Collection
The DCMS sponsors the following advisory non-departmental public bodies:
- Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
- Theatres Trust
- Treasure Valuation Committee
DCMS also has responsibility for two other bodies classified by the Office for National Statistics as being within the central government sector:
- The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is a company limited by guarantee, established by a joint venture agreement between the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the British Olympic Association.
- Churches Conservation Trust
DCMS is also the major financial sponsor of the following bodies, which are not classed as part of the UK central government
- Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
- Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College for the Old Royal Naval College
- Tyne and Wear Museums
Sponsorship of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) transferred to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in June 2007. The Museum of London transferred to the Greater London Authority from 1 April 2008.
DCMS formerly sponsored eight Regional Cultural Consortiums with NDPB status. In July 2008, DCMS announced that the consortiums would be phased out over a twelve-month period and replaced by a new alliance of the regional teams of Arts Council England, Sport England, English Heritage and the MLA.
Culture, sport and tourism are devolved matters, with responsibility resting with corresponding departments in the Scottish Government in Scotland, the Welsh Government in Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive in Northern Ireland.
Media-related policy is generally reserved to Westminster i.e. not devolved. These areas include:
- Film classification
- Public lending right
- Entertainment licensing
- National Lottery
- Digital economy
- Telecommunications and broadband
- press freedom and regulation
The department's main counterparts in Northern Ireland are as follows:
- Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (architecture, arts, culture, galleries, libraries, museums, sport)
- Department of the Environment (historic built environment)
- Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (tourism)
- Department for Social Development (gambling, liquor licensing)
Under the Welsh devolution settlement, specific policy areas are transferred to the Welsh Government rather than reserved to Westminster.