Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executive
bodies in the machinery of governments
that manage a specific sector of public administration
[" Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона", т. XIX (1896): Мекенен — Мифу-Баня, "Министерства", с. 351—357 :s:ru:ЭСБЕ/Министерства]
These types of organizations are usually led by a politician who is a member of a cabinet
—a body of high-ranking government officials—who may use a title such as minister
, or commissioner, and are typically staffed with members of a non-political civil service
, who manage its operations; they may also oversee other government agencies
and organizations as part of a political portfolio.
Governments may have differing numbers and types of ministries and departments. In some countries, these terms may be used with specific meanings: for example, an office may be a subdivision of a department or ministry.
The federal Government of Canada
uses the term ''department'' to refer to its first-level executive bodies.
, first-level subdivisions are known as provinces and territories
. Five of the ten provincial
governments use the term ''ministry'' to describe their departments (Ontario
, British Columbia
, and Alberta
) but the other five, as well as the three territorial governments, use the term ''department''. Despite the difference in nomenclature, both the provincial and federal governments use the term "minister" to describe the head of a ministry or department. The specific task assigned to a minister is referred to as his or her "portfolio".
In the United Kingdom
, all government organisations that consist of civil servants, and which may or may not
be headed by a government minister or secretary of state
, are considered to be departments
. Until 2018, the term "ministry" had been retained only for the Ministry of Defence
and the Ministry of Justice
. On 8 January 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May
announced that the Department of Communities and Local Government would be renamed at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
to emphasise her government's prioritising of housing policy.
Some countries, such as Switzerland
, the Philippines
and the United States
, do not use or no longer use the term "ministry" and instead call their main government bodies "departments". However, in other countries such as Luxembourg a department is a subdivision of a ministry, usually led by a government member called a secretary of state who is subordinate to the minister.
at the federal level, and also at the state level, the term ''Ministry'' refers to the ministerial office held by a member of Cabinet
, the executive, which is then responsible for one or more ''departments'', the top division of the public service. The collection of departments responsible to a ministerial office and hence the minister, is referred to as the minister's "portfolio".
's state agencies include many ministries and a smaller number of departments. Increasingly, state agencies are styled neither as ministries nor as departments. All New Zealand agencies are under the direction of one or more ministers or associate ministers, whether they are styled ''ministries'' or not. Each body also has an apolitical chief executive, and in ministries and departments these chief executives often have the title of Secretary.
In Hong Kong
, the term ''bureau'' is used, and departments are subordinate to the bureaus.
, ministries are referred to as ''secretariats''.
In 1999, the ministries of the federal government of Belgium
became known as ''federal public service'', the exception being the Ministry of Defense which kept the original designation.
In Republic of China
, ''ministry'' is used.
In People's Republic of China
, ''ministry'' is used.
The organization of the Portuguese government implemented in 2015, ceased to expressly foresee the existence of ministries, with the portfolios of the ministers being referred as "governative areas". While some governative areas continue to be structured as traditional ministries (Finance, Defense, Foreign Affairs, etc.), other governative areas received a more flexible organization.
each ministry is led by a minister who is not a member of the Nigerian legislature
(due to the separation of powers) and is responsible to the popularly elected president
, there are 21 ministries. Each ministry is led by a minister, and the Prime Minister is the 22nd minister of the Lebanese government.
In the European Union
, the equivalent organisation to a national government department is termed ''directorate-general''
with the civil servant in charge called a director-general
(in the European Commission
, the political head of the department is one of the European Commissioner
The government departments of the Soviet Union
were termed ''people's commissariats'' between 1917 and 1946.
In popular culture
The term ''ministry'' has also been widely used in fiction, notably in satires and parodies.
Books and films
* The Ministry of Magic is the governing body of the wizarding world of the United Kingdom and Ireland in the Harry Potter
series (not a department of the British Government responsible for magical affairs). It is led by a Minister for Magic.
* In the ''Nineteen Eighty-Four
'' novel there are four Ministries in charge of Airstrip One (formerly the United Kingdom), : the Ministry of Truth
(education, culture and propaganda), the Ministry of Love
(the interior), the Ministry of Plenty
(economic affairs) and the Ministry of Peace
(war and foreign affairs) .
* The Ministry of Information Retrieval features in the film ''Brazil
* The Ministry of Social Coherence appears in an Estonian comedy ''Riigimehed'' (Statesmen).
* In ''Yes Minister
'' the Department of Administrative Affairs (DAA) is responsible for the administration of other government departments and the British Civil Service. This ministry had a number of other responsibilities, including National Health Service
administration, local government
, organising state visits by foreign leaders, enforcing European regulations, the arts and telecommunications.
*''The Thick of It
'' is set at the fictional Department of Social Affairs, later called the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship.
* The Ministry of Silly Walks
is the subject of a sketch in ''Monty Python's Flying Circus
* The Spanish television show ''El ministerio del tiempo
'' follows the exploits of an investigative team in the fictional Ministry of Time, which deals with incidents caused by time travel
that can cause changes to the present day
* Cabinet (government)
* Ministry (collective executive)
* Individual ministerial responsibility
* Housing authority
* Ministry of Social Security