From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej
GOVERNMENT CENTRE – nowadays, it has two meanings found in political and administrative literature. In a narrow perspective, the g.c. (of the Council of Ministers) means the institution of the executive branch, whose aim is to support and service a collegial body, which is the Council of Ministers, and the Prime Minister at its head in fulfilling the executive function. The most frequently performed tasks are: coordination of the work of government bodies and public policies, expert and political advice for the head of government, information policy, personnel policy, strategic planning; in the European Union member states, also coordination of European affairs. The purpose of the g.c. is to achieve consistency of activities among various public policies, forecasting social, economic and political processes in the national and international dimension. Institutionally, the g.c. adopts the shape of the office of the Council of Ministers, the presidential office (in presidential systems), the office (chancellery, offices) of the head of government, together with subordinated organisational units of an expert, information, analytical character, etc. Government committees and teams that are usually located in the offices servicing the centre, as well as task ministers (without portfolio) and representatives of the government/head of the government executing government priorities are a part of the g.c. Examples of g.c. in this sense are: in the USA – the White House Office with subordinated institutions (such as the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget), the Office of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office in Great Britain, the Chancellery Office in Germany, and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Poland. In a broad understanding, the g.c. is a network of government institutions, i.e. ministries, selected central offices, agencies, expert support units, which constitute the “core” of the executive and the entities included in the g.c. in the narrow sense. The research on g.c. concerns its effectiveness in preparation and implementation of public policies, the political and institutional strength of individual actors within the framework of g.c., the way in which it is organised and the political processes taking place in it. Other areas of research on g.c. concern the interdependence of government organisations belonging to the g.c., their rivalry, cooperation and exchange of political and administrative resources, roles played by the links of the administrative apparatus, as well as the consensus and conflict between departmental and general governmental interests. (→ council of ministers) [D. Długosz]
Literature: Centre Stage. Driving Better Policies from the Centre of Government, OECD 2018 ■ L. Skiba, Rządzić państwem. Centrum decyzyjne rządu w wybranych krajach europejskich [Governing the state. The decision-making centre of the government in selected European countries], Warszawa 2010 ■ Administering the Summit. Administration of the Core Executive in Developed Countries, red. B.G. Peters, R.A.W. Rhodes, V. Wright, Basingstoke 2000.