Tasks of the Federal Chancellery
As the Federal Council’s staff office, the Federal Chancellery organizes the government’s meetings and communicates its decisions. It publishes official texts, is the guarantor of political rights and ensures that federal elections and popular votes are held correctly.
The interface between Federal Council, administration, parliament and the public
The Federal Chancellery (FCh) is the Federal Council’s staff office and acts as the interface between the government, administration, parliament and the public. It is responsible for preparing and running the Federal Council meetings and for doing the necessary follow-up work. It coordinates communications to the media and public about government decisions and opinions. The FCh ensures that the citizens can exercise their political rights and that federal elections and popular votes are held correctly. It publishes official texts and provides language services.
The Federal Chancellery coordinates all information communicated by the federal government to the media, public, cantons and parliament. It works with the federal departments to ensure that information about the Federal Council’s activities and decisions is coherent and comprehensive and promptly communicated. Federal Council spokesperson Vice Chancellor André Simonazzi runs the media conference held following the weekly Federal Council meeting.
The Swiss electorate enjoys extensive political rights. Registered voters are entitled to launch or sign initiatives and referendums. Three to four times a year they can vote on political issues and every four years they elect the members of the National Council. Most cantons hold elections to the Council of States at the same time. The Federal Chancellery informs the public about their political rights in general, and about the specific issues involved in federal votes. It ensures that elections run smoothly and publishes the results.
In conjunction with the federal department involved, the Federal Chancellery is responsible for drawing up the Federal Council’s explanatory notes on popular votes. It also publishes legal texts, the federal gazette and other official publications. In brochures such as “The Swiss Confederation – A Brief Guide” and various websites the Federal Chancellery informs the public about how the Swiss state functions.
Federal Chancellery facts and figures
Around 270 full- and part-time staff work at Federal Chancellery. In the 2015 budget the Federal Chancellery predicts expenditure of CHF 46 million.