In order to manage the procedure of the NEC, Section 150 of the Constitution created the Office of the Secretary to the NEC. The functions and responsibilities of this Office are specified under Section 23 of the Prime Minister & NEC Act 2002.
The Secretary to the NEC is appointed by the Head of State on advice of the NEC for a period of four (4) years and holds an Employment Contract with similar terms and conditions to that of other Departmental Heads appointed under Section 193 of the Constitution and Section 27 of the Public Services (Management) Act 2014.
The functions of the Office of the Secretary to the NEC as stipulated in the PM & NEC Act 2002 and in accordance with NEC conventions and standing practices, in summary, are:
(i) Provision of secretarial services to the NEC, its Committees and other Committees chaired by the Prime Minister;
(ii) Receive submissions and Ensure their compliance with NEC procedures;
(iii) Assist with co-ordination of implementation of NEC Decisions;
(iv) Management and coordination of the NEC Procedures; and
(v) Custodian of all NEC Documents and Information.
The PM&NEC Act gives the Secretary full powers to enable the performance of these functions and also provides that all public officials co-operate with the Secretary and comply fully with the NEC Procedures.
NEC Ministerial Committees
In line with its mandate to determine its own procedures, the NEC has over the years created its own Ministerial Committees to assist it with making decisions relating to the different sectoral issues in the country. In August 2017, the following Ministerial Committees were established by the NEC:
- Ministerial Committee on Economic Sector;
- Ministerial Committee on Budget;
- Ministerial Committee on Infrastructure Sector;
- Ministerial Committee on Administrative & Social Sector; and
- Ministerial Committee on Law & Order Sector.
The Secretary to the NEC is the Secretary to these Committees by virtue of Decision No. NG02/2017.
It is the convention of the NEC that for any Committees chaired by the Prime Minister, the Secretary to the NEC is the Secretary to those Committees where the enabling legislation is silent on the provision of secretariat services. These Committees include:
- National Security Council (NSC);
- Ombudsman Appointments Committee (OAC);
- Public Services Commission Appointments Committee (PSCAC);
- Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Appointments Committee (ICCCAC);
- Electoral Commission Appointments Committee (ECAC); and
- NICTA Appointments Committee.