The Government Offices comprises the Prime Minister’s Office, the various ministries and the Office for Administrative Affairs. The ministries are responsible for their respective policy areas, the Office for Administrative Affairs is responsible for ministry-wide resource issues and the Prime Minister’s Office coordinates and manages the work of the Government Offices.
The Government Offices is headed by the Prime Minister. The leadership of each ministry comprises one or more ministers, one of whom is head of the ministry. The ministers who are not ministry heads are responsible for policy areas within the ministry's area of activity. There are usually three types of senior officials immediately below the head of the ministry: State Secretaries, Directors-General for Administrative Affairs and Directors-General for Legal Affairs.
Office for Administrative Affairs
The Government Offices has a Permanent Secretary who is responsible for joint administrative matters. The Permanent Secretary is also head of the Office for Administrative Affairs.
The Office for Administrative Affairs:
- supports the Permanent Secretary in the task of taking responsibility for administrative matters concerning several ministries or committees;
- is responsible for planning and monitoring the Government Offices' financial accounts;
- coordinates, develops and supports the ministries in terms of employment and personnel policy, personnel administration support, skills provision, working environment, IT support, archives and registers, libraries, information and communication, provision of premises, procurement, committee of inquiry support, security protection and contingency planning, telephone services, cleaning, and office and distribution services; and
- conducts and coordinates change and renewal at the Government Offices and develops new management and working methods.
The Government Offices Communications Department and Head of Communications
The Head of Communications coordinates internal and external communications at the Government Offices. The Government Offices Communications Department, which belongs to the Office for Administrative Affairs, is the Government Offices' joint communications function. The task of the Government Offices Communications Department is to provide support and service to the entire Government Offices.
This involves providing strategic and operational support to the Head of Communications at the Government Offices, and acting in collaboration with the Head of Communications as the communications function of the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of Administrative Affairs.
Missions abroad – i.e. embassies, consulates, representations and delegations to the UN, the EU, the OECD and other international organisations – also belong to the Government Offices. The missions abroad report directly to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and are also autonomous government agencies.