the Privy Council Office
() is the secretariat
of the federal cabinet
, providing officially non-partisan advice and support to the Prime Minister
and leadership, coordination, and support to the departments and agencies of the government. It is presently located in the Langevin Block
of the Parliament buildings
Although the PCO has grown in size and complexity over the years, its main pillars remain the operations and plans secretariats. The former is primarily concerned with coordinating the day-to-day issues of government while the latter takes a medium-term view to the evolution of the Canadian federation. Each incoming Prime Minister will re-organize the PCO to suit the policy agenda of his government. Today, the PCO also includes a department of intergovernmental affairs, secretariats for communications, foreign and defence policy, security and intelligence, social affairs, economic affairs, legislation and house planning and machinery of government.
Traditionally, the PCO has served as a "finishing school" for civil servants destined for executive positions within government. Officials who spend several years gaining experience at the PCO, and working on policy matters from the perspective of the Prime Minister, return to their home departments with a greater appreciation of government operations at the corporate level. Aside from senior positions within the civil service, PCO alumni have gone on to pursue successful careers in... Read More