The structure of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture operates in accordance with Act No. 115/2011 on the Icelandic Government. Pursuant to the Law the Minister pronounces the division of the Ministry into Departments and Offices in accordance with tasks.
The Ministry's structure in general is as follows:
- The Permanent Secretary directs the Ministry under the Minister's ultimate authority, who appoints him with a letter of official duty regulations. The Minister assigns one Director of the Ministry as Deputy Permanent Secretary. The Minister is assisted by the Political Adviser to the Minister and by various consultants on specific projects as appropriate.
- Each Department or Office of the Ministry is directed by a Director and each Division is directed by the Head of Division under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary.
- Specialists operate within each Department or Office. The same applies for other staff members. The Directors are appointed with a letter of official duty regulations but the Head of Divisions and specialists work according to terms of reference.
The Ministry acts as one unit and is divided into three Departments and three Offices:
- Department of Cultural Affairs,
- Department of Education and
- Department of Science and Higher Education
The Offices are:
- Office of Information and Financial Affairs,
- Office of Legal Affairs,
- Office of Evaluation and Analysis and
The Permanent Secretary supervises the coordination of the activities of the Departments and Offices and assigns one employee of each Department and Office to act as deputy in the absence of the Director. The Permanent Secretary and the Directors are in charge of supplying information to the Minister.
The tasks are divided between the Offices and Departments as follows:
Office of Information and Financial Affairs
The Office of Information and Financial Affairs is responsible for issues concerning the budgetary procedure as well as implementation of the budget, compiling estimates and budgeting for operations, preliminary expenses and transfers connected with the main Office of the Ministry, its sub-institutions and items of expenditure supervised by the Ministry. Furthermore, the Office supervises contractual negotiations and undertakings carried out on behalf of the Ministry and supervise the Ministry's finances and management as well as the implementation of collective bargaining agreements on the Ministry's behalf.
The Office is also responsible for communicating information, including the intranet and internet, publishing issues under the auspices of the Ministry as well as registration and archiving of documents and other data. Furthermore, the Office is responsible for developing information technology issues, the Ministry's reception, purchases and collective service. The Office is responsible for personnel issues, including continuing education and job development. It is moreover in charge of projects aimed at developing and improving the working environment and general procedures within the Ministry.
Office of Legal Affairs
The Office of Legal Affairs prepares decision-making on legal issues and provides legal counselling within the Ministry. It supervises the drafting of parliamentary bills and regulations and preparations of administrative rulings. The Office serves as liaison with the Althingi secretariat. Furthermore, the Office of Legal Affairs supervises on behalf of the Ministry the legal implementation of the EEA Agreement and other international treaties where the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture represent Iceland. The Office is responsible for personnel issues of institutions under the auspices of the Ministry.
Office of Evaluation and Analysis
The Office of Evaluation and Analysis is responsible for implementation of quality evaluation and supervision of good practice within the educational institutions at all school levels as provided for by the law and regulations, including evaluation of on-going research studies in higher education and research institutes. Furthermore, the Office of Evaluation and Analysis works on developing methods of quality and outcome evaluation in cultural, educational and scientific matters. The Office of Evaluation and Analysis, in cooperation with other Offices and Departments, is responsible for collecting and analysing data and information as appropriate in order to ensure an overview and to prepare a general policy formulation within issues handled by the Ministry.
Department of Cultural Affairs
The Department of Cultural Affairs prepares policy formulation in cultural affairs and supervises its implementation as well as being responsible for the general administration of cultural issues. The Department handles amongst other things issues concerning the arts and cultural heritage, the Icelandic language, the mass media, and sports and youth affairs. Its area of responsibility includes relations with public cultural institutions and museums, communities, sporting organisations and other NGOs, enterprises and individuals. The Department also supervises public support for arts and culture.
Department of Education
The Department of Education handles educational matters at pre-school, compulsory school and upper secondary school levels and issues curricula for the above as well as being responsible for matters regarding continuing education. The Department directs and takes part in preparing a general policy in these areas and supervises its implementation and handles general administrative affairs. Furthermore, the Department has the initiative for development in innovation in education, including distance learning, and publishing of teaching materials.
Department of Science and Higher Education
The Department of Science and Higher Education handles higher educational issues and is responsible for the general administration in the fields of science, research and innovation affairs. The Department prepares the policy formulation of higher educational issues and supervises its implementation. It prepares and advises on scientific and research policy under the auspices of the Council for Science and Technology. The Department supervises the affairs of the Council for Science and Technology and the Scientific Committee and co-ordinates the Ministry's various projects in the fields of science, research and innovation and their integration with the formulation and implementation of the educational policy.