Three things to know about the Clerk of the Privy Council:
- As deputy minister to the prime minister, the clerk is the first advisor to the government on both policy substance and implementation. Their annual report to the prime minister was mandated in 1990 as a part of the Public Service Employment Act.
- The clerk is the chief executive of the Privy Council Office, the most powerful central agency of government.
- The clerk is also the Secretary to Cabinet and charged with ensuring that the consensus of Cabinet is captured and conveyed to the administration that reports to her or him. For indeed, as “Head of the Public Service,” the clerk also commands the public service.
Dr. Patrice Dutil: Patrice Dutil is a professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, in Toronto, Ontario.