Competitive Exams: Chief Scretary

Powers and functions of Chief Secretary

The powers and functions of the Chief Secretary are mentioned in the ‘Rule of Business’ framed by a State Government.

  • The Chief Secretary acts as the principal advisor to the Chief Minister on all the matters of the State administration.

  • The Chief Secretary acts as a Secretary to the State Cabinet.

  • He is the administrative head of the Cabinet Secretariat and attends the meeting of the Cabinet and its sub-Committees, if necessary.

  • Prepares the agenda for the Cabinet meetings and keeps records of its proceedings.

  • Acts as the head of the State Civil Services.

  • Deals with all the cases related to appointment, transfers, promotion of senior State Civil Servants.

  • Conscience-keeper to all the State Civil Servants.

  • The chief coordinator of the State administration.

  • Ensures inter-departmental co-ordination.

  • The Chairman of co-ordination committees set up for inter-departmental disputes.

  • Presides over the meetings of the departments'Secretaries.

  • Presides over the conferences attended by the Divisional Commissioners, the District Collectors and the heads of the departments of district administrations to effect coordination.

  • Acts as the administrative head of some secretariat departments.

  • In most cases, the General Administration Department, Personnel Department, Planning Department and Administrative Reforms Department are directly under the charge of the Chief Secretary.

  • The General Administration Department is the most important department in the State Secretariat and its political head is the Chief Minister.

  • The Administrative Reforms Commission of India recommended that the Personnel Department in all the States should be directly headed by the Chief Secretary.

  • He is generally a Chairman or an important member of the committees set up to take high level policy decisions during a crisis situation.

  • He acts as the crisis administrator-in-chief and virtually represents the State Government for all the officers concerned with relief operations.

  • He acts as the Residual Legatee and looks after all those matters which do not fall into the purview of other Secretaries.

  • He acts as the Secretary, by rotation, of the Zonal Council of which the State concerned is a member.

  • He acts as the chief public relations officer (PRO) of the State Government.

  • He attends the meetings of the National Development Council.

  • He acts as a spokesman of the State Government.

  • He plays a significant role in the administration of law and order and planning.

  • He exercises general supervision and control over the entire State Secretariat.

  • He has administrative control over the Secretariat building, the staff attached to the Ministers, the central record branch, the Secretariat Library, the conservancy and watch and ward staff of the Secretariat departments.

  • He is the principal channel of communication between the concerned State Government and the Central Government and other State Governments.

  • He attends the annually held Chief Secretaries conference presided over by the Cabinet Secretary.

  • He acts as the chief advisor to the Governor, if the Central advisors are not appointed and the President's rule is imposed in the State.

  • There is no office in the Union Government which can be equated to that of the Chief Secretary in the State.

  • To some extent, the Cabinet Secretary, at the central level can be called as the counter part of the Chief Secretary.

  • The functions performed and the roles assumed by the Chief Secretary in the State administration are so vast, varied and wide that they are shared by the Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Finance Secretary and Personnel Secretary at the Central level.