About Government Offices
The ministers of the Icelandic Government and their ministries comprise Government Offices. Ministers direct and are responsible for all administrative actions, each in his/her own field. Each ministry includes the minister’s office and the public administration executive for the respective function of government.
According to the Act on Government Offices and the Icelandic Constitution, the number and names of the ministries are determined by Presidential Decree, based on a proposal from the Prime Minister and following debate and adoption of a parliamentary Resolution by the Icelandic parliament Althingi.
Division of responsibilities among the ministers and ministries is in the hands of the Prime Minister and their respective areas of responsibility are laid down in the Presidential Decree on Allocation of Administrative Responsibilities between Ministries and the Presidential Decree on Ministers’ Duties. The Presidential Decree on Allocation of Administrative Responsibilities lays down all the mandatory tasks of the executive branch and their distribution between the ministries. In those instances where there is more than one minister in a ministry, the Presidential Decree on Ministers’ Duties determines how the tasks of the ministry in question are to be divided between the ministers.
The core tasks of the ministries are to provide and oversee the functions for which they are responsible and to formulate policy in these areas based on the government’s current platform and on the strategy and emphases of the minister concerned.