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Directorate for Public Governance

Centre Stage: The organisation and functions of the centre of government in OECD countries

 

What do Prime Minister's/ President's Offices do? 

OECD report focusing on the centre of government - the support structure serving the highest level of the executive branch of government (presidents, prime ministers and their equivalents).

The report finds that despite differences among countries in terms of constitutional forms and administrative traditions – even the extent to which the centre is led and staffed by political appointees rather than career civil servants – there are strong similarities in the functions the centre performs.


Supporting the head of government and ministers to make good decisions by ensuring they receive evidence-informed, co-ordinated and coherent advice is common to all, as is co-ordinating the various actors in the policy process, and ensuring the quality and capability of the policy system. The centre also typically acts as the guardian of overall strategic direction of government, translating political intent to line departments and ensuring that agreed policies and programmes are implemented.


As policy challenges become more cross-cutting, the centre is increasingly called on to lead policy processes. As such, the centre continues to transition towards a more pro-active, outward-facing and leadership role in the public administration and beyond  The report highlights areas where weaknesses have been identified or where international exchange of experiences could help build capability and performance.