Citizens of the Imperium

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l_c_jackson March 13th, 2012 06:15 AM

Imperial Civil Service
What does the Traveller canon say about the Imperial Civil Service? I remember a psionic troubleshooter from "Secrets of the Ancients", but that's all. I'm thinking more about the ordinary bureaucracy who don't have psionic powers.

How independent are they when the Emperor has supreme power? Could they say "That's a very daring policy, Emperor" like sir Humphrey Appleby, or would they get their heads cut off?

How do they interact with the nobility, eg can they advise even archdukes to follow Imperial policy? Does a new emperor appoint a whole new team of senior civil servants (the US model), or could they assist the nobility in providing continuity (the UK model)? To what extent do they have direct power over local planetary governments and to what extent do they operate through the new feudal system of local nobility?

Your thoughts please, thank you.

aramis March 13th, 2012 04:14 PM

What little is said about the troubleshooters is that they have warrants that basically read something to the effect of "The bearer, ___, does what he does for the good of the Imperium. Accord him every assistance." They can, and do, "advise" the nobility in a compelling way. Mostly in that, should they deem it needful, they can arrest or even execute the local dukes and barons.

Canon is kind of vague about the actual civil service.

Aquinas March 13th, 2012 05:17 PM

In MTU the Imperial Civil Service is a huge affair made up mostly of bureaucrats but including the Imperial Prison Service (part of the Ministry of the Interior), the Imperial News Service (part of the Department of Information, headed by the Minister of State for Information a junior minister at the Interior), Imperial Customs & Excise (jointly maintained by the Interior and Foreign Offices), The Diplomatic Corp, Mercenary Monitoring Office, and Office of the Rules of War (both part of the Ministry of Defence).

Civil Servants are nominally appointed by the Minister of the Civil Service (usually the Chairman of the Grand Council) on the advice of the Principal Secretary of the Office of Decrees and Treaties (Head of the Home Civil Service). They range from junior, non governing, nobles down to ordinary educated Imperial Citizens.

There are also Civil Servants attached to the General Government of each Sector.

This does not include the Foreign Civil Service (Diplomatic Corp).

This is just part of MTU government structure which varies quite a bit from canon.
Will be happy to post more if you're interested

l_c_jackson March 19th, 2012 07:18 AM

GURPS Nobles on the Imperial Ministries
I believe GURPS Traveller Nobles supplement has some content on the Imperial Ministries, suggesting that Strephon believed in small government. There goes my vision of the man from the Ministry with an Irridium bowler hat turning up unexpectedly and issuing orders!

McPerth March 20th, 2012 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by l_c_jackson (Post 391042)
How independent are they when the Emperor has supreme power? Could they say "That's a very daring policy, Emperor" like sir Humphrey Appleby, or would they get their heads cut off?

My guess is that depends on the Emperor. Probably a new Emperor could be manipulated as Haker is by Sir Humphrey at the first episodes, but as the Emperor grow older and wiser, he becames less manipulable (also like Haker).

Anyway, I guess the Civil Service (and other services, for what is worth) used to have quite a freedom to give oppinions to the Emperor, at least under Strephon. That's why I understand Lucan cuts so many heads (literaly) when they tried to give him advice. Should they not be used to give those advices without risk, not so many would have lost his head while trying, IMHO.

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