Decision-making power is vested in the OECD Council. It is made up of one representative per member country, plus a representative of the European Commission.
The Council meets regularly at the level of permanent representatives to OECD and decisions are taken by consensus. These meetings are chaired by the OECD Secretary-General. The Council also meets at ministerial level once a year to discuss key issues and set priorities for OECD work. The work mandated by the Council is carried out by the OECD Secretariat.
Representatives of the 35 OECD member countries meet in specialised committees to advance ideas and review progress in specific policy areas, such as economics, trade, science, employment, education or financial markets.
There are about 250 committees, working groups and expert groups. Some 40 000 senior officials from national administrations go to OECD committee meetings each year to request, review and contribute to work undertaken by the OECD Secretariat. Once they return home, they have online access to documents and can exchange information through a special network.
Angel Gurría heads the OECD Secretariat and is assisted by one or more Deputy Secretaries-General. Mr Gurría also chairs the Council, providing the link between national delegations and the Secretariat.
The Secretariat in Paris is made up of some 2 500 staff who support the activities of committees, and carry out the work in response to priorities decided by the OECD Council. The staff includes economists, lawyers, scientists and other professionals. Most staff members are based in Paris but some work at OECD centres in other countries.