Government of Canada Privy Council Office
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Privy Council Office > About PCO

About PCO

Photograph: PCO Employees

The Privy Council Office (PCO) is the hub of public service support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and its decision-making structures. Led by the Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO facilitates the smooth and effective operations of Cabinet and the Government of Canada through the work of the PCO secretariats.

PCO helps to clearly articulate and implement the Government's policy agenda and to coordinate timely responses to issues facing the government and the country. It also works to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in the federal Public Service.

Some of PCO's main roles are:

  • Providing professional, non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet; 
  • Managing the Cabinet's decision-making system (including coordinating departmental policy proposals and conducting policy analysis); 
  • Arranging and supporting meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet committees; 
  • Advancing the development of the Government's agenda across federal departments and agencies and with external stakeholders; 
  • Providing advice on the government's structure and organization; 
  • Managing the appointment process for senior positions in federal departments, Crown corporations and agencies;
  • Preparing Orders-in-Council and other statutory instruments to give effect to Government decisions; 
  • Fostering a high-performing and accountable public service;
  • Submitting an annual report to the Prime Minister on the state of the Public Service.
Photograph: PCO Employees

PCO works to ensure that the Prime Minister and other PCO ministers receive the highest-quality, consistent and appropriate policy advice and objective recommendations. PCO is staffed by career public servants and its activities are guided by our mission and values.

For additional information regarding PCO: