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About the Cabinet Secretariat

As head of the Office of the Executive Council (OEC), the Clerk of the Executive Council coordinates the operations of Cabinet Secretariat, the Protocol Office, and the Policy Innovation and Accountability Office. The Clerk is the senior bureaucratic liaison with the Premier's Office, and is responsible for budgetary matters relating to the Office of the Executive Council.

As Secretary to Cabinet, the Clerk supports the Premier's responsibilities to Cabinet and its Committees by helping to set the Cabinet agenda, arranging meetings of Cabinet, overseeing the preparation of briefing materials for the Premier and the Cabinet Committee Chairs, and ensuring that records of Cabinet are properly maintained. Additionally, the Secretary to Cabinet addresses substantive matters on the Cabinet agenda with Ministers and senior officials.

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Vision

The vision of the Office of the Executive Council is of an accountable, innovative government demonstrating public service excellence.

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Mission

By March 31, 2017, the Office of the Executive Council will have improved the capacity of the public service to effectively manage the public sector in support of the implementation of government's agenda.

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Mandate

The mandate of the OEC is derived from government direction and informed by legislation. It includes the following:

  • Support the Premier and the work of Cabinet and its Committees;
    • Facilitate, coordinate and support the Cabinet decision-making process, formulate orders, and communicate decisions of Cabinet;
    • Facilitate and coordinate advice and initiatives on matters related to economic policy, social policy, and government operations;
    • Facilitate and coordinate performance-based planning and reporting throughout government and its public bodies; and,
    • Facilitate and coordinate the Regulatory Reform Initiative and the Policy on Evaluation.
  • Support the role of the Lieutenant Governor;
  • Advise on protocol matters;
  • Provide strategic communications, counsel and support to the Premier and Cabinet and coordinate government-wide communication activities; and,
  • Provide leadership of the provincial public service to ensure that Government has the policy, human resource, and management capacity it needs to develop and deliver effective policies and programs.

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Lines of Business

In fulfilling its mandate, the OEC provides the following lines of business:

  1. Support to the Premier and Cabinet:

    The OEC is the agency of the public service that provides support to the Premier's role of setting overall government policy, coordinating initiatives brought forward by ministers, and developing responses to government-level issues. The office is also the primary support for Cabinet and its Committees and provides for the effective and efficient operation of the Cabinet process. This role incorporates policy analysis, the preparation of briefing materials, the coordination and facilitation of Committee and Cabinet meetings, coordination of the legislative agenda, and the maintenance of Cabinet records. General operational support is also provided to the Office of the Premier.

  2. On behalf of the Premier and Cabinet, the OEC also provides support and leadership to the public service through the following:

    Planning and Coordination

    The OEC ensures consistency in the application of government planning and coordination efforts as noted below:

    • Performance-based Planning and Reporting: The OEC leads and provides support and guidance to Provincial Government departments and public bodies in the development of multi-year performance-based plans and reports and reviews these documents to provide feedback on the degree to which they comply with the Transparency and Accountability Act. The OEC also provides support services to ministers and deputy ministers in the development and monitoring of deputy ministers' performance contracts.

    • Regulatory Reform: The OEC leads and provides support and guidance to Provincial Government departments and public bodies on the implementation of the Regulatory Reform Initiative. This includes tracking and maintaining the regulatory count, providing analyses of the regulatory impact of policy proposals, and providing support and advice on the development of Regulatory Improvement Plans and Regulatory Impact Analyses.

    • Policy on Evaluation: The OEC leads and provides support to Provincial Government departments on the implementation of the Policy on Evaluation. This includes assisting departments and agencies in the development of evaluation plans and accountability frameworks, as well as providing evaluation advice on new and existing initiatives.

    Capacity Development

    The OEC ensures that the public service has the capacity and readiness to implement the directions of government. This is carried out by providing leadership in priority areas as noted below:

    • Policy Capacity: The OEC actively contributes to government's capacity for better informed and coordinated policy advice to Cabinet and executive decision-makers. By establishing a professional standard for policy development in government (the NL Policy Model - See Appendix A), strengthening a community of practice for policy practitioners through PolicyNL, and by facilitating ongoing networking and learning opportunities, the OEC is helping to enhance government's policy capacity and to encourage innovation which supports modern policy development and improved service delivery.

    • Recognition of Excellence: The Public Service Award of Excellence is a peer-nominated award and is presented annually by the Clerk of the Executive Council to employees of any department or central agency of government. It recognizes individuals and teams who have made outstanding contributions to the public service and is the highest honour an employee can receive from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence are selected by a committee made up of persons who are familiar with, but outside of, the public service.

    • Executive Development: The OEC provides executive development to ensure that the public service maintains and develops executive capacity. Development includes, but is not limited to: Executive OnBoarding for new appointees to executive positions; learning plans; speaker series; and other learning and development activities and secondment opportunities in a variety of areas such as governance, planning and reporting, evaluation, and policy analysis.

    Communications

    The Communications Branch provides strategic communications counsel and support to the Premier, Cabinet and its Committees; manages corporate communications; co-ordinates communications activities across government; and manages government's corporate social media profile. Roles include developing communications and consultation policies and procedures; advising on communications and consultation planning; managing news release distribution services; overseeing government's web content standards; and providing multimedia communications support. Through management of the provincial brand strategy, the Branch also leads government's exhibition presence at local, national and international trade shows and helps to establish Newfoundland and Labrador as one of the world's most enviable places to live, work, and do business.

  3. Support to the Lieutenant Governor and Other Dignitaries

    The OEC provides executive, administrative, and household support to the Lieutenant Governor, including the care and operations of Government House. It also advises government members and departments on official matters of provincial, national and international protocol and organizes state and ceremonial events. The OEC organizes itineraries for visiting diplomats, heads of state, senior government representatives and other visitors, coordinates flag and regalia ceremonies and coordinates protocols for local and national events.

  4. Financial, Operational and Administrative Services

    The Financial Administration Division provides financial management and advisory services to various departments/divisions within the corporate structure (OEC, the Department of Finance, the Public Service Commission and the Consolidated Fund Services). Responsibilities include the provision of financial, accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, and general operations services to the designated departments/divisions. The division also ensures that all employees are informed of departmental and general government guidelines and procedures relating to the above services.

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