Posted by / Thursday 2 March 2017 / No comments

The functions of a cabinet

A cabinet is normally associated with a parliamentary system of government. Though this is used in a presidential system too, there is a slight difference. A cabinet is made up of very senior ministers of the governing executive who are brought together by the Head of Government to help in running the affairs of the state.

Formulation of policy
One of the major functions of a cabinet system of government is the formulation of policies. The policies formulated could be of local or international dimension. It is also the duty of the cabinet that after the policies have been formulated, they should be sent to the parliament for consideration and possible approval.

Implementation of policies
After policies are formulated by cabinet, they are sent to the parliament for approval. Once the policies are approved by the parliament, it is the duty of the cabinet to ensure that the approved policies are implemented. So, one the functions of the cabinet is to implement policies.

The cabinet initiates bills
It is also the function of the cabinet to initiate the bills of the government in parliament. The bills are discussed at the cabinet level and critically examined and approved. However, before the bill can become law, it is the parliament’s responsibility to thoroughly discuss the bill before they pass it into law.

Link between parliament and the executive
Another very essential function of the cabinet is to serve as the link between the parliament and the executive arm of government. The cabinet can be described as the inner circle of the executive. It is not every member of the executive that is a member of the cabinet. It is only a core of the executive.

Gives advice to the Queen
In Britain, which mainly practices the cabinet system of government, one of the functions of the cabinet is to give valuable advice to the Queen. The British Queen may not be privy to every thing that transpires in the governance of the country on a daily bases. Therefore, before the Queen can take certain pertinent decisions of state, she needs to seek the input of the cabinet on that particular matter.  

Control and Supervision of the executive
Also, it is the function of the cabinet to control the executive arm of the government. This is mostly the case in a parliamentary system of government. The performance of the executive is closely monitored by the cabinet and where there are lapses, a reshuffle could be initiated to put in a renewed energy into governance.

1. a. What is a cabinet system of government?
    b. Highlight five functions of the cabinet.

2. Highlight six functions of the cabinet system of government.

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