The Cabinet Division (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ মন্ত্রিপরিষদ বিভাগ — Bānglādēśh Montriporishod Bibhāg) is the executive office of the Prime Minister. As a division of the government of Bangladesh, the office is responsible for the executive administration of the Government of Bangladesh and facilitating smooth transaction of business in Cabinet Ministries.
The Division assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst Ministries/ Departments, and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing/ Adhoc Committees of Secretaries. The Cabinet Secretary who is assisted by seven Additional Secretaries in the performance of assigned business heads the Cabinet Division under the Prime Minister as the Minister In-charge.
In 1972, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs was created to provide secretarial assistance to the government of Bangladesh. After 1975, it was placed under the President’s Office.
After 1991, the presidential system of government by Act of Parliament was abolished, and by October 1991, Cabinet Division was formed as a full-fledged administrative unit.
Ministers of the government, according to the Constitution of Bangladesh, are selected primarily from the elected members of House of Nation, also known as Jatiya Sangsad. Cabinet Ministers are heads of government departments, mostly with the office of the “Minister of [department, e.g. Defence]”. The collective co-ordinating function of the Cabinet is reinforced by the statutory position that all the Ministers jointly hold the same office, and can exercise the same powers.
The Cabinet is the ultimate decision-making body of the executive within the parliamentary system of government in the traditional constitutional theory of Bangladesh. This interpretation was originally put across in the work of the Bangladesh constitution in 1972. The political and decision-making authority of the cabinet has been gradually increased over the last few decades, with some claiming its role has been usurped by “Prime Ministerial” (i.e. more “presidential”) government.
The Cabinet is the executive committee of The Prime Minister’s Office, a historic body which has legislative, judicial and executive functions, and whose large membership does include member(s) of the Opposition or Coalition. Its decisions are generally implemented either under the existing powers of individual government departments or by the Cabinet Secretary, the most senior civil servant in Bangladesh.