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Cabinet Secretariat

The Cabinet Secretariat's overarching aim is to ensure that the business of government is conducted in a timely and efficient way and that proper collective consideration takes place when it is needed before policy decisions are taken.

It is made up of a number of individual secretariats providing support to Cabinet and its committees on specific issues.

The Cabinet Secretariat is located within the Cabinet Office and reports to the Prime Minister and ministers who chair committees. The head of the Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell.

The Cabinet and its committees

Cabinet and Cabinet committees are groups of ministers that can take collective decisions that are binding across government. The Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in government, dealing with the big issues of the day and the Government’s overall strategy. Cabinet committees reduce the burden on Cabinet by enabling collective decisions to be taken by a smaller group of ministers. The composition and terms of reference of Coalition Cabinet Committees are a matter for the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister.

Guide for departments

This guide give departments information on how to clear policy through the Cabinet or its committees.