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CA (160,000)
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POLS (800)
Tim Mau (40)
Chapter 5

POLS 2250 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Responsible Government, United Kingdom Cabinet Committee, Treasury Board Secretariat

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

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Chapter 5: Government Departments and Central Agencies
The Legislature, The Executive, and Departments
- 3 branches of government:
o judicial
law courts and related institutions
o legislative
the Queen and two houses or chambers the House of Commons
and Senate
o executive
headed by the Queen, represented in Canada by the governor
general and the lieutenant governors of the provinces
the practical definition of the executive is the cabinet and the
public service
- important principle that the executive branch if accountable to the legislative
branch (i.e. the branch most directly responsible to the general public)
o these 2 branches are joined, because cabinet ministers are almost
invariably members of the legislative branch
Definition of Department
- department is an administrative unit compromising one or more organizational
components over which a minister has direct ministerial management and control
(J.E. Hodgetts)
o bureaucratic structures in government are mainly in the business of
administering services
o the minister directly controls and manages operations
o constitutional convention that the minister should very closely supervise
the actions of an operating department.
Classification Systems for Departments
- one classification system is based on the general policy fields addressed, or
functions carried out by the department (ex. Public works, communications,
- another system identifies 3 types of departments by considering the relative power
of departments as determined by size, budget, responsibility for coordination, and
knowledge or research capability
o the three types:
horizontal policy coordinative
tend to be the most influential
strong in terms of responsibility and knowledge or research
some also called central agencies
horizontal administrative coordinative
least influential
“nuts and bolts” departments that provide the wherewithal
for other departments to operate
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