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Government and Administration Organisation Act
(GAOA)

English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.

of 21 March 1997 (Status as of 2 December 2019)

The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation,

based on Article 173 paragraph 2 of the Federal Constitution1,2
and having considered the Federal Council Dispatch dated 16 October 19963,

decrees:

1 SR 101

2 Amended by No I of the FA of 1 Oct. 2010 (Data Protection in the Use of Electronic Infrastructure), in force since 1 April 2012 (AS 2012 941; BBl 2009 8513).

3BBl 1996V 1

Title 1 Principles

Art. 1 The Government  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil is the highest ex­ec­ut­ive au­thor­ity of the Con­fed­er­a­tion.

2 It com­prises sev­en mem­bers.

3 It is as­sisted by the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor.

Art. 2 The Federal Administration  

1 The Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion is sub­or­din­ate to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil. It com­prises the de­part­ments and the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery.

2 The in­di­vidu­al de­part­ments are di­vided in­to of­fices, which may be or­gan­ised in­to groups. Each has a Gen­er­al Sec­ret­ari­at.

3 The Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion also in­cludes de­cent­ral­ised ad­min­is­trat­ive units in ac­cord­ance with the terms of its or­gan­isa­tion­al dir­ect­ives.

4 Fed­er­al le­gis­la­tion may as­sign ad­min­is­trat­ive du­ties to en­tit­ies un­der pub­lic or private law which are not part of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Art. 3 Principles of government and administrative activities  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil and Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion act in ac­cord­ance with the Con­sti­tu­tion and the law.

2 They are com­mit­ted to the com­mon wel­fare, pro­tect cit­izen’s rights and the powers of the can­tons and pro­mote co­oper­a­tion between the Con­fed­er­a­tion and can­tons.

3 They shall act to achieve their aims in a man­ner that is ap­pro­pri­ate and eco­nom­ic­ally vi­able.

Art. 4 Political responsibility  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil is col­lect­ively re­spons­ible for its gov­ern­ment­al func­tions.

Art. 5 Review of federal tasks  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall reg­u­larly re­view the tasks of the Con­fed­er­a­tion and their im­ple­ment­a­tion as well as the or­gan­isa­tion of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion. In do­ing so, it shall ap­ply the cri­terion of ne­ces­sity and as­sess wheth­er the aims set out in the Con­sti­tu­tion and the law have been achieved. It shall de­vel­op for­ward-look­ing solu­tions for ac­tion by the state.

Title 2 The Government

Chapter 1 The Federal Council

Section 1 Functions

Art. 6 Government obligations  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil de­term­ines the aims of its gov­ern­ment policy and the means to achieve them.

2 It gives pri­or­ity to the ful­fil­ment of its ob­lig­a­tions of gov­ern­ment.

3 It takes all the meas­ures re­quired to en­sure the con­tinu­ation of gov­ern­ment activ­it­ies at all times.

4 It works to main­tain the unity of the state and the co­he­sion of the coun­try while pro­tect­ing the di­versity of the fed­er­al sys­tem. It helps the oth­er state in­sti­tu­tions to ful­fil the du­ties as­signed to them by the Con­sti­tu­tion and the law in a timely and ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner.

Art. 7 Legislation  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil con­ducts the pre­lim­in­ary le­gis­lat­ive pro­ceed­ings, sub­ject to the par­lia­ment­ary right to an ini­ti­ate le­gis­la­tion. It sub­mits drafts of con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ments, fed­er­al acts and de­crees to the Fed­er­al As­sembly and is­sues or­din­ances, provided it is au­thor­ised to do so un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion and by law.

Art. 7a Conclusion and amendment of or withdrawal from internationaltreatiesby the Federal Council 45  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may con­clude, amend or with­draw from treat­ies un­der in­ter­na­tion­al law at its own be­hest in as far as it is au­thor­ised to do so by a fed­er­al act or by an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty ap­proved by the Fed­er­al As­sembly. Au­thor­isa­tion to con­clude an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty in­cludes au­thor­isa­tion to amend or with­draw from it.6

1bis It may with­draw from an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty at its own be­hest in as far as the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion provides for with­draw­al.7

2 It may con­clude in­ter­na­tion­al treat­ies of lim­ited scope at its own be­hest. It may like­wise in­de­pend­ently make amend­ments of lim­ited scope to treat­ies or with­draw from in­ter­na­tion­al treat­ies of lim­ited scope.8

3 In­ter­na­tion­al treat­ies or amend­ments of lim­ited scope are those that:9

a.
do not cre­ate new ob­lig­a­tions for Switzer­land and do not con­sti­tute a waiver of ex­ist­ing rights;
b.
serve to im­ple­ment treat­ies ap­proved by the Fed­er­al As­sembly and simply provide more de­tail on rights, ob­lig­a­tions or or­gan­isa­tion­al prin­ciples that are already set out in the main treaty;
c.
primar­ily con­cern the au­thor­it­ies and in­volve tech­nic­al ad­min­is­trat­ive is­sues.10

4 In­ter­na­tion­al treat­ies or amend­ments of lim­ited scope do not in­clude those that:11

a.
meet any of the re­quire­ments for an op­tion­al ref­er­en­dum on an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty un­der Art­icle 141 para­graph 1 let­ter d of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion;
b.
con­tain pro­vi­sions on mat­ters the reg­u­la­tion of which falls solely un­der can­ton­al jur­is­dic­tion;
c.
cause non-re­cur­ring ex­pendit­ure ex­ceed­ing five mil­lion francs or re­cur­ring ex­pendit­ure of more than two mil­lion francs per year.12

4 In­ser­ted by An­nex No II 3 of the Par­lia­ment Act of 13 Dec. 2002, in force since 1 Dec. 2003 (AS 2003 3543; BBl 200134675428).

5 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

6 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

7 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

8 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

9 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

10 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 on the Power to con­clude In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies of Lim­ited Scope and the Pro­vi­sion­al Ap­plic­a­tion of In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 1 May 2015 (AS 2015 969; BBl 20127465).

11 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

12 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 on the Power to con­clude In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies of Lim­ited Scope and the Pro­vi­sion­al Ap­plic­a­tion of In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 1 May 2015 (AS 2015 969; BBl 20127465).

Art. 7b Provisional application of international treaties by the Federal Council 13  

1 Where the Fed­er­al As­sembly is re­spons­ible for ap­prov­ing the con­clu­sion of or amend­ment to an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil may de­term­ine or agree the pro­vi­sion­al ap­plic­a­tion of the treaty without the ap­prov­al of the Fed­er­al As­sembly when it is ne­ces­sary to safe­guard im­port­ant Swiss in­terests and the mat­ter is of par­tic­u­lar ur­gency.14

1bis It shall re­frain from ap­ply­ing the treaty pro­vi­sion­ally if the com­pet­ent com­mit­tees of both Coun­cils are against do­ing so.15

2 The pro­vi­sion­al ap­plic­a­tion of an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty ends if the Fed­er­al Coun­cil fails to present the Fed­er­al As­sembly with a draft of a fed­er­al de­cree on the treaty in ques­tion with­in six months.

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall no­ti­fy the parties to the treaty of the ter­min­a­tion of the pro­vi­sion­al ap­plic­a­tion.

13 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 8 Oct. 2004 on the Pro­vi­sion­al Ap­plic­a­tion of In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 1 April 2005 (AS 2005 1245; BBl 20047611017).

14 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

15 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 on the Power to con­clude In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies of Lim­ited Scope and the Pro­vi­sion­al Ap­plic­a­tion of In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 1 May 2015 (AS 2015 969; BBl 20127465).

Art. 7bbis Urgent withdrawal from international treaties by the Federal Council 16  

1 Where the Fed­er­al As­sembly is re­spons­ible for ap­prov­ing with­draw­al from an in­ter­na­tion­al treaty, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil may with­draw from the treaty without the ap­prov­al of the Fed­er­al As­sembly if it is ne­ces­sary to do so in or­der to safe­guard im­port­ant in­terests of Switzer­land and if there is a par­tic­u­lar ur­gency in do­ing so.

2 It may not with­draw ur­gently if the re­spons­ible com­mit­tees of both cham­bers ob­ject to with­draw­al.

16 In­ser­ted by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

Art. 7c Ordinances safeguarding the interests of the country 17  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil, in dir­ect ap­plic­a­tion of Art­icle 184 para­graph 3 of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion, may when ne­ces­sary is­sue an or­din­ance to safe­guard the in­terests of the coun­try.

2 It shall lim­it the peri­od of valid­ity of the or­din­ance ap­pro­pri­ately; the peri­od of valid­ity may not ex­ceed four years.

3 It may ex­tend the peri­od of valid­ity once. In this case, the or­din­ance ceases to ap­ply six months after the be­gin­ning of the ex­ten­sion if the Fed­er­al Coun­cil fails to present the Fed­er­al As­sembly with a bill es­tab­lish­ing a leg­al basis for the con­tent of the or­din­ance.

4 The or­din­ance ceases to ap­ply:

a.
if the bill men­tioned in para­graph 3 is re­jec­ted by the Fed­er­al As­sembly; or
b.
at the latest with in­tro­duc­tion of the leg­al basis provided for in para­graph 3.

17 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 17 Dec. 2010 on Safe­guard­ing Demo­cracy, the Rule of Law and the Ca­pa­city to Act in Ex­traordin­ary Situ­ations, in force since 1 May 2011 (AS 2011 1381; BBl 2010 15632803).

Art. 7d Ordinances to safeguard external and internal security 18  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may, in dir­ect ap­plic­a­tion of Art­icle 185 para­graph 3 of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion, is­sue an or­din­ance to counter ex­ist­ing or im­min­ent threats of ser­i­ous dis­rup­tion to pub­lic or­der or in­tern­al or ex­tern­al se­cur­ity.

2 The or­din­ance ceases to ap­ply:

a.
six months after its com­mence­ment if the Fed­er­al Coun­cil fails to sub­mit to the Fed­er­al As­sembly:
1.
a bill es­tab­lish­ing a leg­al basis for the con­tent of the or­din­ance, or
2.
a bill con­tain­ing a Fed­er­al As­sembly or­din­ance un­der Art­icle 173 para­graph 1 let­ter c of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion which re­places the Fed­er­al Coun­cil’s or­din­ance;
b.
if the bill is re­jec­ted by the Fed­er­al As­sembly; or
c.
if the leg­al basis or the re­place­ment or­din­ance is­sued by the Fed­er­al As­sembly comes in­to force.

3 The Fed­er­al As­sembly or­din­ance provided for in para­graph 2 let­ter a num­ber 2 ceases to ap­ply three years at the latest from its com­mence­ment.

18 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 17 Dec. 2010 on Safe­guard­ing Demo­cracy, the Rule of Law and the Ca­pa­city to Act in Ex­traordin­ary Situ­ations, in force since 1 May 2011 (AS 2011 1381; BBl 2010 15632803).

Art. 7e Rulings to safeguard the interests of the country or to safeguard internal or external security 19  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may, in dir­ect ap­plic­a­tion of Art­icle 184 para­graph 3 or Art­icle 185 para­graph 3 of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion, is­sue a rul­ing:

a.
if re­quired to pro­tect the coun­try’s in­terests; or
b.
in or­der to counter ex­ist­ing or im­min­ent threats of ser­i­ous dis­rup­tion to pub­lic or­der or in­tern­al or ex­tern­al se­cur­ity.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall in­form the com­pet­ent or­gan of the Fed­er­al As­sembly with­in 24 hours of its res­ol­u­tion on the rul­ing.

19 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 17 Dec 2010 on Safe­guard­ing Demo­cracy, the Rule of Law and the Ca­pa­city to Act in Ex­traordin­ary Situ­ations, in force since 1 May 2011 (AS 2011 1381; BBl 2010 15632803).

Art. 8 Organisation and management of the Federal Administration 20  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil de­term­ines the ap­pro­pri­ate or­gan­isa­tion of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion and ad­apts it to cir­cum­stances. It may di­verge from the or­gan­isa­tion­al pro­vi­sions of oth­er fed­er­al acts un­less the Fed­er­al As­sembly ex­pressly places lim­it­a­tions on its or­gan­isa­tion­al powers.21

2 It shall en­cour­age ef­fi­ciency and in­nov­at­ive abil­ity with­in the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

3 It su­per­vises the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion in a con­tinu­ous and sys­tem­at­ic man­ner.

4 It mon­it­ors the de­cent­ral­ised ad­min­is­trat­ive bod­ies and oth­er bod­ies charged with car­ry­ing out fed­er­al ad­min­is­trat­ive tasks which are not them­selves part of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

5 It de­term­ines, as ap­pro­pri­ate, the stra­tegic goals for the fol­low­ing autonom­ous units:

a.
en­tit­ies un­der pub­lic or private law which:
1.
are not part of the cent­ral Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion,
2.
were cre­ated un­der fed­er­al le­gis­la­tion or over which the Con­fed­er­a­tion has con­trol by vir­tue of its cap­it­al or vot­ing rights, and
3.
are del­eg­ated fed­er­al ad­min­is­trat­ive du­ties;
b.
the ETH Do­main.22

20 Amended by No I of the FA of 22 March 2002 on the Re­vi­sion of Or­gan­isa­tion­al Pro­vi­sions of Fed­er­al Le­gis­la­tion, in force since 1 Feb­ru­ary 2003 (AS 2003 187; BBl 2001 3845).

21 Amended by No I of the FA of 22 March 2002 on the Re­vi­sion of Or­gan­isa­tion­al Pro­vi­sions of Fed­er­al Le­gis­la­tion, in force since 1 Feb­ru­ary 2003 (AS 2003 187; BBl 2001 3845).

22 In­ser­ted by No I 2 of the FA of 17 Dec. 2010 on the Par­ti­cip­a­tion of the Fed­er­al As­sembly in the Su­per­vi­sion of Autonom­ous Bod­ies, in force since 1 Janu­ary 2012 (AS 20115859; BBl 2010 33773413).

Art. 9 Implementation and administration of the law  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil en­sures that the le­gis­la­tion and oth­er de­cisions of the Fed­er­al As­sembly are im­ple­men­ted.

2 It shall en­sure the ad­min­is­tra­tion of ad­min­is­trat­ive justice in as far as it is re­quired to do so by le­gis­la­tion.

Art. 10 Information  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil en­sures that the Fed­er­al As­sembly, the can­tons and the gen­er­al pub­lic are suit­ably in­formed.

2 It en­sures that con­sist­ent in­form­a­tion on its as­sess­ments, plans, de­cisions and pro­vi­sions is provided promptly and reg­u­larly.

3 Spe­cial pro­vi­sions to pro­tect over­rid­ing pub­lic or private in­terests are re­served.

Art. 10a Federal Council spokesperson 23  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil ap­points a lead­ing mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery as Fed­er­al Coun­cil spokes­per­son.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil spokes­per­son:

a.
provides in­form­a­tion on be­half of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil to the gen­er­al pub­lic;
b.
ad­vises the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and its mem­bers on in­form­a­tion and com­mu­nic­a­tion is­sues;
c.
co­ordin­ates the in­form­a­tion activ­it­ies of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, the de­part­ments and the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery.

23 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 24 March 2000 (AS 20002095; BBl 1997 III 1568, 1999 2538). Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 11 Communication with the general public  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil main­tains con­tact with the gen­er­al pub­lic and en­sures they are in­formed of the opin­ions and con­cerns dis­cussed in the pub­lic do­main.

Section 2 Procedure and Organisation

Art. 12 Principle of collegiality  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil reaches its de­cisions as a col­legi­al body.

2 The mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall rep­res­ent the de­cisions of the whole.

Art. 12a Duty to provide information 24  

1 The mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor in­form the Fed­er­al Coun­cil reg­u­larly about their busi­ness and in par­tic­u­lar about re­lated risks and pos­sible chal­lenges.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may re­quest spe­cif­ic in­form­a­tion from its mem­bers and from the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor.

24 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 13 Deliberations  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil mem­bers shall make de­cisions of ma­jor im­port­ance or polit­ic­al scope jointly and at the same time.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may de­cide on oth­er items of busi­ness in a sim­pli­fied pro­ced­ure.

3 The es­sen­tial con­tent of Fed­er­al Coun­cil de­lib­er­a­tions and de­cisions are re­cor­ded in writ­ing at all times. The Fed­er­al Coun­cil minutes guar­an­tee trans­par­ency and aid the Fed­er­al Coun­cil as a man­age­ment in­stru­ment.25

25 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811). The cor­rec­tion by the Fed­er­al As­sembly Draft­ing Com­mit­tee (Art. 58 Abs. 1 ParlA - SR 171.10) of 22 May 2017, pub­lished on 30 May 2017 relates to the French text only (AS 2017 3259).

Art. 14 Directives  

In pre­par­ing items of busi­ness of ma­jor im­port­ance or polit­ic­al scope, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall, if ne­ces­sary, out­line the rel­ev­ant aims and guidelines.

Art. 15 Joint reporting procedure  

1 Items of busi­ness on which the Fed­er­al Coun­cil must de­cide are presen­ted to the mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in a joint re­port­ing pro­ced­ure.

2 The Fed­er­al Chan­cellery reg­u­lates the joint re­port­ing pro­ced­ure.

Art. 16 Convening  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil con­venes as fre­quently as its busi­ness re­quires.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil is con­vened by the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor on be­half of the Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion.

3 Each mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil may at any time ask for the Coun­cil to con­vene.

4 In cases of ur­gency the Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion may make an ex­cep­tion to the reg­u­lar pro­ced­ure for con­ven­ing the Coun­cil and con­duct­ing ne­go­ti­ations.

Art. 17 Special discussions and closed-door meetings  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil holds spe­cial dis­cus­sions and closed-door meet­ings on is­sues of far-reach­ing im­port­ance.

Art. 18 Presidency and participation  

1 The Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion chairs the dis­cus­sions in the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

2 In ad­di­tion to the mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor also par­ti­cip­ates in the de­lib­er­a­tions of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in an ad­vis­ory ca­pa­city. He or she has the right to make pro­pos­als in or­der to ful­fil the tasks of the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery.26

3 The Vice-Chan­cel­lors shall be present at the dis­cus­sions un­less oth­er­wise spe­cified by the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

4 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may call on the ex­pert­ise of its ad­min­is­trat­ive staff and qual­i­fied per­sons from with­in and out­side of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion when it con­siders this ne­ces­sary in or­der to ac­quire in­form­a­tion and form an opin­ion.

26 Second sen­tence amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 19 Quorum  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may only reach a de­cision if at least four of its mem­bers are present.

2 De­cisions are taken by a ma­jor­ity vote. Fed­er­al Coun­cil­lors are per­mit­ted to ab­stain from vot­ing but a val­id de­cision re­quires the votes of at least three mem­bers.

3 The chair­per­son of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil takes part in the vote. In the event of a tie, his or her vote is worth double. This does not ap­ply in the case of elec­tions.

Art. 20 Duty of recusal  

1 Mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the per­sons men­tioned in Art­icle 18 shall re­cuse them­selves if they have an im­me­di­ate per­son­al in­terest in the mat­ter at hand.

2 If the Coun­cil is mak­ing a rul­ing or de­cid­ing on an ap­peal, the pro­vi­sions on re­cus­al of the Fed­er­al Act of 20 Decem­ber 196827 on Ad­min­is­trat­ive Pro­ced­ure ap­ply.

Art. 21 Exclusion of the general public  

The dis­cus­sions of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the joint re­port­ing pro­ced­ure men­tioned in Arti­cle 15 are not pub­lic. The pub­lic are in­formed in ac­cord­ance with Art­icle 10.

Art. 22 Deputisation in the event of absence 28  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil ap­points a deputy for each Fed­er­al Coun­cil­lor from among its mem­bers.

2 Each mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall en­sure that in the event of un­fore­seen in­cid­ents his or her deputy is no­ti­fied quickly and com­pre­hens­ively about im­port­ant busi­ness and the is­sues to be de­cided.

3 Each mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and his or her deputy shall en­sure the or­derly han­dover of busi­ness.

28 Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 23 Federal Council committees 29  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may ap­point com­mit­tees from among its mem­bers for cer­tain items of busi­ness. These com­mit­tees are nor­mally made up of three mem­bers.

2 The com­mit­tees pre­pare dis­cus­sions and de­cisions for the Fed­er­al Coun­cil or con­duct dis­cus­sions on be­half of the col­legi­al body with oth­er in­tern­al or ex­tern­al ad­min­is­trat­ive bod­ies or private in­di­vidu­als. They have no de­cision-mak­ing powers.

3 They in­form the Fed­er­al Coun­cil reg­u­larly about their dis­cus­sions.

4 The Fed­er­al Chan­cellery runs the sec­ret­ari­at, which in par­tic­u­lar keeps minutes of the dis­cus­sions in the com­mit­tee and man­ages the doc­u­ment­a­tion.

29 Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 24 Organisation ordinance  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets out in de­tail how it ex­er­cises its func­tions in an or­din­ance.

Chapter 2 The President of the Confederation

Art. 25 Functions within the Federal Council  

1 The Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion heads the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

2 The Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion:

a.
en­sures that the Fed­er­al Coun­cil ac­com­plishes its tasks in a timely, ap­pro­pri­ate and co­ordin­ated man­ner;
abis.30
co­ordin­ates mat­ters of ma­jor im­port­ance in which two or more de­part­ments are in­volved or which are of ma­jor im­port­ance for the coun­try;
b.31
pre­pares dis­cus­sions for the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the agenda of mat­ters to be dis­cussed and seeks con­cili­ation on con­tro­ver­sial is­sues;
bbis.32
may in­struct a mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil to sub­mit a spe­cif­ic item of busi­ness to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil at a giv­en time;
c.
en­sures that the Fed­er­al Coun­cil or­gan­ises and car­ries out its su­per­vi­sion of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner;
d.
may at any time or­der in­vest­ig­a­tions in­to spe­cif­ic mat­ters and sug­gest ap­pro­pri­ate meas­ures to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil where ne­ces­sary.

30 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

31 Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

32 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 26 Presidential decisions  

1 In ur­gent cases, the Pres­id­ent may or­der pre­cau­tion­ary meas­ures to be taken.

2 If it is not pos­sible to ar­range an or­din­ary or ex­traordin­ary Fed­er­al Coun­cil meet­ing, the Pres­id­ent de­cides in its stead.

3 These de­cisions must be sub­mit­ted ret­ro­spect­ively to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil for ap­prov­al.

4 In ad­di­tion, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil may au­thor­ise the Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion to de­cide on mat­ters of a pre­dom­in­antly form­al nature.

Art. 27 Replacement in case of absence  

1 If the Pres­id­ent is un­able to ful­fil his or her pub­lic du­ties, the Vice-Pres­id­ent takes re­spons­ib­il­ity as his or her re­place­ment and takes over the pres­id­en­tial du­ties.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may trans­fer cer­tain pres­id­en­tial powers to the Vice-Pres­id­ent.

Art. 28 Representation  

The Pres­id­ent rep­res­ents the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in Switzer­land and abroad.

Art. 29 Relationship with the cantons  

The Pres­id­ent is re­spons­ible for main­tain­ing re­la­tions between the Con­fed­er­a­tion and the can­tons with re­gard to shared con­cerns of a gen­er­al nature.

Art. 29a Presidential services unit 33  

1 The Pres­id­ent shall have a pres­id­en­tial ser­vices unit to take care of his or her spe­cial tasks, and in par­tic­u­lar for in­ter­na­tion­al re­la­tions, com­mu­nic­a­tion, pro­tocol and or­gan­isa­tion­al mat­ters.

2 The pres­id­en­tial ser­vices unit is af­fil­i­ated to the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery.

33 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2015 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Chapter 3 The Federal Chancellor

Art. 30 Functions  

1 The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor is the chief of staff of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

2 The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor:

a.
sup­ports the Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion and the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in the ful­fil­ment of their tasks;
b.
ful­fils the re­spons­ib­il­it­ies to the Fed­er­al As­sembly as­signed to him or her by the Con­sti­tu­tion and the law.
Art. 31 Organisation  

1 The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor is head of the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery, just as the Fed­er­al Coun­cil­lors are each head of a de­part­ment.

2 The Vice-Chan­cel­lors dep­u­tise for the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor.

3 Un­less sub­ject to spe­cif­ic ar­range­ments by the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, the or­gan­isa­tion and man­age­ment of the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery are gov­erned by the pro­vi­sions that ap­ply to the en­tire Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion, with the ex­cep­tion of the sec­tion on gen­er­al sec­ret­ari­ats.

Art. 32 Advice and support  

The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor:

a.
ad­vises and sup­ports the Fed­er­al Pres­id­ent and the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in plan­ning and co­ordin­a­tion at gov­ern­ment level;
b.
cre­ates and su­per­vises work plans and busi­ness rosters for the Fed­er­al Pres­id­ent;
c.34
takes part in the pre­par­a­tion and con­duct of Fed­er­al Coun­cil meet­ings and is re­spons­ible for keep­ing the minutes and pre­par­ing of­fi­cial cop­ies of the de­cisions;
cbis.35
mon­it­ors on be­half of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil the pro­gress of its busi­ness and of Fed­er­al As­sembly man­dates as well as the con­sist­ency of the con­tent of busi­ness and man­dates with the le­gis­lature plan, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil’s an­nu­al ob­ject­ives and oth­er fed­er­al plans, and may sub­mit pro­pos­als to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil there­on in the event of new de­vel­op­ments;
cter.36
en­sures that a long-term and con­tinu­al ana­lys­is is made of the situ­ation and en­vir­on­ment and provides the Fed­er­al Coun­cil with reg­u­lar re­ports there­on;
d.
pre­pares the Fed­er­al Coun­cil’s re­ports to the Fed­er­al As­sembly on the key as­pects of gov­ern­ment policy and the man­age­ment of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil;
e.
ad­vises the Fed­er­al Pres­id­ent and the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in terms of the over­all man­age­ment of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion and as­sumes su­per­vis­ory roles;
f.
sup­ports the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in its deal­ings with the Fed­er­al As­sembly;
g.37
ad­vises and sup­ports the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in its ef­forts to re­cog­nise and re­spond to crises in good time.

34 Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

35 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2015 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

36 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2015 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

37 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2015 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 33 Coordination  

1 The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor en­sures the co­ordin­a­tion of in­ter­de­part­ment­al af­fairs.

1bis He or she car­ries out cross-de­part­ment­al co­ordin­a­tion tasks aimed at re­cog­nising and re­spond­ing to crises in good time.38

2 He or she en­sures co­ordin­a­tion with the par­lia­ment­ary ad­min­is­tra­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, he or she con­sults the Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al of the Fed­er­al As­sembly if the busi­ness of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil or its sub­or­din­ate of­fices dir­ectly af­fects the pro­ced­ure and or­gan­isa­tion of the Fed­er­al As­sembly or Par­lia­ment­ary Ser­vices. He or she may take part in the meet­ings of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­mit­tee of the Fed­er­al As­sembly in an ad­vis­ory ca­pa­city.39

38 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2015 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

39 In­ser­ted by An­nex No 3 of the FA of 8 Oct. 1999, in force since 1 Jan. 2000 (AS 2000 273; BBl 1999 48095979).

Art. 33a Right to information 40  

The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor may re­quest in­form­a­tion from the de­part­ments in or­der to ful­fil his or her tasks.

40 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 34 Information 41  

1 The spokes­per­son for the Fed­er­al Coun­cil in co­oper­a­tion with the de­part­ments en­sures that ap­pro­pri­ate meas­ures are taken to in­form the pub­lic.

2 The Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor is re­spons­ible for in­tern­al in­form­a­tion between the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the de­part­ments.

41 Amended by No I of the FA of 24 March 2000, in force since 1 Sept. 2000 (AS 2000 2095; BBl 1997 III 1568, 1999 2538).

Title 3 The Federal Administration

Chapter 1 Direction and Principles of Direction

Art. 35 Direction  

1 The Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion is dir­ec­ted by the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the heads of de­part­ment.

2 Each mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil heads a de­part­ment.

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil al­loc­ates the de­part­ments among its mem­bers; each mem­ber has the duty to take over their des­ig­nated de­part­ment.

4 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may real­loc­ate the de­part­ments at any time.

Art. 36 Principles of direction  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the heads of de­part­ment set the ob­ject­ives and pri­or­it­ies of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 When they del­eg­ate the im­me­di­ate ful­fil­ment of tasks to pro­ject man­age­ment bod­ies or units of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion, they shall provide them with the re­quired powers and re­sources.

3 They as­sess the per­form­ance of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion and peri­od­ic­ally check wheth­er their ob­ject­ives have been met.

4 They en­sure the care­ful se­lec­tion and con­tinu­ing pro­fes­sion­al edu­ca­tion of em­ploy­ees.

Chapter 2 The Departments

Section 1 Heads of Department

Art. 37 Direction and responsibility  

1 The head of de­part­ment bears polit­ic­al re­spons­ib­il­ity for run­ning a de­part­ment.

2 The head of de­part­ment:

a.
sets the guidelines for run­ning the de­part­ment;
b.
del­eg­ates where ne­ces­sary the im­me­di­ate ful­fil­ment of the de­part­ment’s tasks to ad­min­is­trat­ive units and em­ploy­ees un­der its au­thor­ity;
c.
de­term­ines the or­gan­isa­tion of the de­part­ment with­in the terms of this act.
Art. 38 Leadership instruments  

In prin­ciple, the head of de­part­ment has the un­res­tric­ted right to is­sue in­struc­tions, to lead his or her de­part­ment and in­ter­vene per­son­ally in a mat­ter. Spe­cial pro­vi­sions for in­di­vidu­al ad­min­is­trat­ive units and the at­tri­bu­tion of cer­tain powers un­der fed­er­al le­gis­la­tion are re­served.

Art. 38a Service agreements 42  

1 The de­part­ments shall man­age the fol­low­ing with an­nu­al ser­vice agree­ments:

a.
the ad­min­is­trat­ive units of the cent­ral fed­er­al ad­min­is­tra­tion;
b.
the ad­min­is­trat­ive units of the de­cent­ral­ised fed­er­al ad­min­is­tra­tion, if they do not keep their own ac­counts.

2 The Swiss Fed­er­al Audit Of­fice is ex­emp­ted from man­age­ment by ser­vice agree­ment. The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may provide for fur­ther ex­cep­tions.

3 Where groups and of­fices man­age ad­min­is­trat­ive units with their own glob­al budgets, the de­part­ment may del­eg­ate the power to them to con­clude the ser­vice agree­ments with these ad­min­is­trat­ive units.

4 In the ser­vice agree­ment, the tasks of the ad­min­is­trat­ive units are set out ac­cord­ing to pro­jects and ser­vice groups. They must be giv­en meas­ur­able goals.

5 The ad­min­is­trat­ive units re­port an­nu­ally on the achieve­ment of their goals. At the start of each le­gis­lature plan, they shall re­view the struc­ture and goals of their ser­vice groups.

42 In­ser­ted by An­nex No 2 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 (New Man­age­ment Mod­el for the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion), in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 1583; BBl 2014 767).

Art. 39 Personal staff  

The heads of de­part­ment may em­ploy per­son­al staff and as­sign tasks to them.

Art. 40 Information  

In con­sulta­tion with the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery, the heads of de­part­ment take the meas­ures re­quired to in­form the pub­lic of the de­part­ments’ activ­it­ies and de­cide who is re­spons­ible for dis­sem­in­at­ing that in­form­a­tion.

Section 2 The General Secretariats

Art. 41 Position  

1 Each de­part­ment has a gen­er­al sec­ret­ari­at as its gen­er­al ad­min­is­trat­ive of­fice. The gen­er­al sec­ret­ari­at may also con­duct oth­er tasks.

2 The Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al is the de­part­ment’s chief of staff.

Art. 42 Functions  

1 The Gen­er­al Sec­ret­ari­at sup­ports the head of de­part­ment in the plan­ning, or­gan­isa­tion and co­ordin­a­tion of the de­part­ment’s activ­it­ies and in the de­cisions that he or she is re­quired to make.

2 It plays a su­per­vis­ory role as in­struc­ted by the head of de­part­ment.

3 It en­sures that the plan­ning and activ­it­ies of the de­part­ment are co­ordin­ated with those of the oth­er de­part­ments and of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

4 It sup­ports the head of de­part­ment in pre­par­ing Fed­er­al Coun­cil dis­cus­sions.

Section 3 Offices and Groups of Offices

Art. 43 Position and functions  

1 The of­fices are the ad­min­is­trat­ive units charged with deal­ing with the busi­ness of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets out in or­din­ances the way in which the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion is or­gan­ised in­to of­fices. It as­signs the of­fices areas of busi­ness which are closely re­lated if pos­sible and de­term­ines their tasks.

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil as­sign the of­fices to the de­part­ments ac­cord­ing to the cri­ter­ia of man­age­ment, co­her­ence of tasks and ma­ter­i­al and polit­ic­al bal­ance. It may re­as­sign the of­fices at any time.

4 The heads of de­part­ment de­term­ine the or­gan­isa­tion­al struc­ture of the of­fices in their de­part­ment. With the con­sent of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, they may or­gan­ise the of­fices in­to groups.

5 The of­fice dir­ect­ors de­term­ine the de­tailed or­gan­isa­tion of their of­fices.

Art. 4443  

43 Re­pealed by An­nex No 2 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 (New Man­age­ment Mod­el for the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion), with ef­fect from 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 1583; BBl 2014 767).

Art. 45 Direction and Responsibility  

The dir­ect­ors of the groups and of­fices are re­spons­ible to their su­per­i­ors for dir­ect­ing the ad­min­is­trat­ive units un­der them and for car­ry­ing out the du­ties as­signed to them.

Section 4 State Secretaries 44

44 Inserted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 45a Appointment and function 45  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may ap­point as state sec­ret­ar­ies the dir­ect­ors of of­fices or groups that are re­spons­ible for im­port­ant fields of re­spons­ib­il­ity of a de­part­ment. An of­fices or group that is headed by a state sec­ret­ary may be known as a state sec­ret­ari­at.

2 State sec­ret­ar­ies sup­port and re­lieve the bur­den on heads of de­part­ment par­tic­u­larly in their deal­ings with for­eign au­thor­it­ies.

45 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Art. 46 Temporary award of the title of «State Secretary» 46  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may tem­por­ar­ily award the title of «State Sec­ret­ary» to per­sons in the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion who rep­res­ent Switzer­land on its be­half in high-level in­ter­na­tion­al ne­go­ti­ations.

46 Amended by No I of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012, in force since 1 Jan. 2014 (AS 2013 4549; BBl 2002 2095, 2010 7811).

Chapter 3 Fees47

47 Inserted by No I 3 of the FA of 19 Dec. 2003 on the 2003 Budgetary Relief Programme, in force since 1 Jan. 2005 (AS 2004 1633; BBl 2003 5615).

Art. 46a  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil is­sues pro­vi­sions on char­ging ap­pro­pri­ate fees for de­cisions and oth­er ser­vices provided by the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 It reg­u­lates the char­ging of fees in de­tail, in par­tic­u­lar:

a.
the pro­ced­ure for char­ging fees;
b.
the level of the fees;
c.
the ques­tion of li­ab­il­ity when two or more people are re­quired to pay fees;
d.
the time lim­its re­lat­ing to the char­ging of fees.

3 When set­ting fees, it ob­serves the prin­ciples of equi­val­ence and cost re­cov­ery.

4 It may make ex­cep­tions in char­ging fees provided the de­cision or ser­vice is of over­rid­ing pub­lic in­terest.

Title 4 Responsibilities, Planning and Coordination

Chapter 1 Responsibilities

Art. 47 Decisions  

1 De­pend­ing the im­port­ance of an item of busi­ness, it is dealt with by the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, a de­par­tment, a group or an of­fice.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets out in an or­din­ance which ad­min­is­trat­ive unit is re­spons­ible for de­cisions about in­di­vidu­al items of busi­ness or in wider areas of busi­ness.

3 If the de­part­ments are un­able to agree on re­spons­ib­il­ity in spe­cif­ic cases, the Pres­id­ent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion shall de­cide.

4 The su­per­or­din­ate ad­min­is­trat­ive units and the Fed­er­al Coun­cil may at any time take re­spons­ib­il­ity for de­cid­ing on a par­tic­u­lar item of busi­ness.

5 Man­dat­ory re­spons­ib­il­it­ies in ac­cord­ance with the le­gis­la­tion on the ad­min­is­tra­tion of fed­er­al justice are re­served. If the ap­peal to the Fed­er­al Coun­cil is not per­mit­ted, the lat­ter may is­sue a dir­ect­ive to the com­pet­ent fed­er­al ad­min­is­trat­ive au­thor­ity on how to de­cide in ac­cord­ance with the law.

6 Fed­er­al Coun­cil busi­ness is del­eg­ated by law to the de­part­ment com­pet­ent for the mat­ter con­cerned where rul­ings must be is­sued that are sub­ject to an ap­peal to the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­trat­ive Court. The ap­peal against Fed­er­al Coun­cil rul­ings un­der Art­icle 33 let­ters a and b of the Ad­min­is­trat­ive Court Act of 17 June 200548 is re­served.49

48 SR 173.32

49 Amended by An­nex No 9 of the Ad­min­is­trat­ive Court Act of 17 June 2005, in force since 1 Jan. 2007 (AS 2006 21971069; BBl 2001 4202).

Art. 48 Lawmaking  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may del­eg­ate re­spons­ib­il­ity for en­act­ing leg­al rules to the de­part­ments. In do­ing so, it takes ac­count of the sig­ni­fic­ance of the leg­al rules.

2 Del­eg­at­ing law­mak­ing to groups and of­fices is only per­mit­ted if au­thor­ised by a fed­er­al act or a gen­er­al bind­ing fed­er­al de­cree.

Art. 48a Conclusion and amendment of and withdrawal from international treaties 50  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may del­eg­ate re­spons­ib­il­ity for con­clud­ing, amend­ing or with­draw­ing from in­ter­na­tion­al treat­ies to a de­part­ment. In the case of treat­ies of lim­ited scope, or of amend­ments or with­draw­als of lim­ited scope, it may also del­eg­ate this re­spons­ib­il­ity to a group or fed­er­al of­fice.

2 It provides the Fed­er­al As­sembly with an an­nu­al re­port on the treat­ies con­cluded, amended or with­drawn from by the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, the de­part­ments, groups and fed­er­al of­fices. Only the Con­trol Del­eg­a­tion re­ceives no­tice of con­fid­en­tial or secret treat­ies.

50 In­ser­ted by An­nex No II 3 of the Par­lia­ment Act of 13 Dec. 2002 (AS 2003 3543; BBl 200134675428). Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 21 June 2019 on the Au­thor­ity to Con­clude, Amend or With­draw from In­ter­na­tion­al Treat­ies, in force since 2 Dec. 2019 (AS 2019 3119; BBl 2018 34715315).

Art. 49 Authorisation to sign  

1 The heads of de­part­ment may au­thor­ise the fol­low­ing per­sons to sign par­tic­u­lar items of busi­ness in their name:

a.
sec­ret­ar­ies-gen­er­al or the per­sons rep­res­ent­ing them;
b.
mem­bers of seni­or man­age­ment in the groups and of­fices;
c.
fur­ther per­sons in the gen­er­al sec­ret­ari­at in re­la­tion to the de­part­ment’s re­spons­ib­il­it­ies as an ap­peal au­thor­ity.

2 They may also au­thor­ise these per­sons to sign rul­ings.51

3 The dir­ect­ors of the groups and of­fices and the sec­ret­ar­ies gen­er­al de­term­ine who is to have sig­na­ture au­thor­isa­tion in their do­main. Con­tracts, rul­ings or oth­er form­al com­mit­ments by the Con­fed­er­a­tion for sums of more than 100,000 francs re­quire two sig­na­tures.52

4 The open­ing of bank or postal ac­counts in Switzer­land re­quires an ad­di­tion­al sig­na­ture from the Fed­er­al Fin­ance Ad­min­is­tra­tion.53

5 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may per­mit ex­cep­tions to the re­quire­ment for two sig­na­tures in spe­cial cases.54

51 Amended by No II 5 of the FA of 20 March 2008 on the Form­al Re­vi­sion of Fed­er­al Le­gis­la­tion, in force since 1 Aug. 2008 (AS 20083437; BBl 2007 6121).

52 Amended by No I 1 of the FA of 17 March 2017 on the Sta­bil­isa­tion Pro­gramme 2017–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2017 5205; BBl 20164691).

53 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 17 March 2017 on the Sta­bil­isa­tion Pro­gramme 2017–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2017 5205; BBl 20164691).

54 In­ser­ted by No I 1 of the FA of 17 March 2017 on the Sta­bil­isa­tion Pro­gramme 2017–2019, in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2017 5205; BBl 20164691).

Art. 50 Official business  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets out the prin­ciples for main­tain­ing in­ter­na­tion­al re­la­tions in the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 Deal­ings with the can­ton­al gov­ern­ments are the re­spons­ib­il­ity of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the heads of de­part­ment.

3 The dir­ect­ors of the groups and of­fices deal dir­ectly with oth­er fed­er­al, can­ton­al and com­mun­al au­thor­it­ies and pub­lic of­fices as well as with private in­di­vidu­als, ac­cord­ing to their re­spons­ib­il­it­ies.

Chapter 2 Planning and Coordination 55

55 Amended by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Revision of extra-parliamentary committees), in force since 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

Art. 51 Planning  

The de­part­ments, groups and of­fices plan their activ­it­ies as part of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil’s gen­er­al plan­ning. The de­part­ments shall bring their plans to the at­ten­tion of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

Art. 52 Coordination activities at government level  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil, its com­mit­tees and the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery carry out the co­ordin­a­tion tasks as­signed to them by the Con­sti­tu­tion and the law.

Art. 53 Conference of Secretaries General  

1 Un­der the lead­er­ship of the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor, the Con­fer­ence of Sec­ret­ar­ies Gen­er­al dir­ects co­ordin­a­tion activ­it­ies in the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 Where no spe­cial co­ordin­at­ing body ex­ists for spe­cif­ic tasks or items of busi­ness, the Con­fer­ence is re­spons­ible for these co­ordin­a­tion activ­it­ies, in par­tic­u­lar in pre­par­ing items of Fed­er­al Coun­cil busi­ness.

3 It may in terms of a Fed­er­al Coun­cil de­cree deal with in­ter­de­part­ment­al is­sues and pre­pare these for the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

4 The Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al of the Fed­er­al As­sembly may take part in the Con­fer­ence of Sec­ret­ar­ies Gen­er­al in an ad­vis­ory ca­pa­city.56

56 In­ser­ted by An­nex No 3 of the FA of 8 Oct. 1999, in force since 1 Jan. 2000 (AS 2000 273; BBl 1999 48095979).

Art. 54 Information Conference  

1 The In­form­a­tion Con­fer­ence com­prises the Fed­er­al Coun­cil Spokes­per­son and the per­sons re­spons­ible for in­form­a­tion in the de­part­ments. A rep­res­ent­at­ive from the Par­lia­ment­ary Ser­vices may with take part in an ad­vis­ory role.57

2 The In­form­a­tion Con­fer­ence deals with cur­rent in­form­a­tion prob­lems in the de­part­ments and Fed­er­al Coun­cil; it co­ordin­ates and plans in­form­a­tion.58

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil Spokes­per­son holds the chair.59

57 Amended by No I of the FA of 24 March 2000, in force since 1 Sept. 2000 (AS 2000 2095; BBl 1997 III 1568, 1999 2538).

58 Amended by No I of the FA of 8 Oct. 1999, in force since 1 Jan. 2000 (AS 2000 273; BBl 1999 48095979).

59 Amended by No I of the FA of 24 March 2000, in force since 1 Sept. 2000 (AS 2000 2095; BBl 1997 III 1568, 1999 2538).

Art. 55 Other standing staff office, planning and coordination bodies  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil and de­part­ments may em­ploy oth­er staff of­fice, plan­ning and co­ordin­a­tion bod­ies as in­sti­tu­tion­al­ised con­fer­ences or as self-con­tained ad­min­is­trat­ive units.

Art. 56 Interdepartmental project organisations  

The Fed­er­al Coun­cil may form pro­ject or­gan­isa­tions to pro­cess im­port­ant in­ter­de­par­tment­al tasks of lim­ited dur­a­tion.

Chapter 3 External Advice and Extra-Parliamentary Committees 60

60 Amended by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Revision of Extra-Parliamentary Committees), in force since 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

Section 1 External Advice 61

61 Inserted by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Revision of Extra-Parliamentary Committees), in force since 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

Art. 57 62  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil and de­part­ments may con­sult or­gan­isa­tions and per­sons which are not part of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

263

62 Re­pealed by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Re­vi­sion of Ex­tra-Par­lia­ment­ary Com­mit­tees), with ef­fect from 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

63 Re­pealed by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Re­vi­sion of Ex­tra-Par­lia­ment­ary Com­mit­tees), with ef­fect from 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

Section 2 Extra-Parliamentary Committees64

64 Inserted by No I of the FA of 20 March 2008 (Revision of Extra-Parliamentary Committees), in force since 1 Jan. 2009 (AS 2008 5941; BBl 2007 6641).

Art. 57a Purpose  

1 Ex­tra-par­lia­ment­ary com­mit­tees ad­vise on a per­man­ent basis the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion on ac­com­plish­ing their tasks.

2 They make de­cisions in­so­far as they are au­thor­ised to by a fed­er­al act.

Art. 57b Requirements  

Ex­tra-par­lia­ment­ary com­mit­tees may be es­tab­lished when tasks:

a.
re­quire spe­cial­ist know­ledge that is not avail­able in the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion;
b.
re­quire the can­tons or ad­di­tion­al in­ter­ested circles to be in­volved at an early stage; or
c.
are to be car­ried out by a de­cent­ral­ised unit of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion which is not bound by dir­ect­ives.
Art. 57c Instituting committees  

1 A com­mit­tee is not es­tab­lished if the task can be more ap­pro­pri­ately car­ried out by a unit of the cent­ral Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion or an or­gan­isa­tion or per­son from out­side the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil es­tab­lishes ex­tra-par­lia­ment­ary com­mit­tees and elects their mem­bers.

3 The mem­bers are ap­poin­ted for a term of of­fice of four years.

4 If a seat be­comes va­cant, a re­place­ment is elec­ted.

Art. 57d Review  

Every four years, when an ex­tra-par­lia­ment­ary com­mit­tee is elec­ted, the ne­ces­sity for the com­mit­tee, its tasks and com­pos­i­tion shall be re­viewed.

Art. 57e Composition  

1 Ex­tra-par­lia­ment­ary com­mit­tees may nor­mally have no more than 15 mem­bers.

2 Among the mem­bers there must a bal­ance between the sexes, lan­guages, re­gions, age groups and in­terest groups, with due con­sid­er­a­tion of the com­mit­tee’s tasks.

3 Mem­bers the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion may only be elec­ted as mem­bers of a com­mit­tee in ex­cep­tion­al cases and with due reas­on.

Art. 57f Disclosure of interests  

1 Com­mit­tee mem­bers must dis­close their in­terests be­fore elec­tion. The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall is­sue the rel­ev­ant im­ple­ment­ing pro­vi­sions.

2 Any per­son who re­fuses to dis­close their in­terests is not eli­gible for elec­tion to a com­mit­tee.

Art. 57g Remuneration 65  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets out uni­form cri­ter­ia for the re­mu­ner­a­tion of com­mit­tee mem­bers.

2 The amount of re­mu­ner­a­tion is made pub­lic.

65 In force since 1 Jan. 2010 (AS 2009 6135).

Chapter 4 Data Processing66

66 Originally Chapter 3. Inserted by No I of the FA of 24 March 2000 on the Creation and Amendment of Statutory Principles for the Processing of Personal Data, in force since 1 Sept. 2000 (AS 2000 1891; BBl 1999 9005).

Section 1 Documenting Correspondence and Items of Business 67

67 Inserted by No I of the FA of 1 Oct. 2010 (Data Protection in the Use of Electronic Infrastructure), in force since 1 April 2012 (AS 2012 941; BBl 2009 8513).

Art. 57h68  

1 Un­der the Fed­er­al Act of 19 June 199269 on Data Pro­tec­tion, any fed­er­al au­thor­ity may run an in­form­a­tion and doc­u­ment­a­tion sys­tem to re­gister, ad­min­is­ter, in­dex and mon­it­or its cor­res­pond­ence and busi­ness. This sys­tem may con­tain data and per­son­al­ity pro­files par­tic­u­larly worthy of pro­tec­tion, de­pend­ing on the cor­res­pond­ence and type of busi­ness. The fed­er­al au­thor­ity con­cerned may only save per­son­al data if they serve to:

a.
pro­cess items of busi­ness;
b.
or­gan­ise op­er­a­tion­al pro­cesses;
c.
de­term­ine wheth­er it is pro­cessing the data of a par­tic­u­lar per­son;
d.
fa­cil­it­ate ac­cess to doc­u­ment­a­tion.

2 Only the em­ploy­ees of the fed­er­al body con­cerned have ac­cess to the per­son­al data, and only in as far as they need it in or­der to carry out their tasks.

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil is­sues im­ple­ment­ing pro­vi­sions on the or­gan­isa­tion and op­er­a­tion of this in­form­a­tion and doc­u­ment­a­tion sys­tem and on the pro­tec­tion of the per­son­al data re­cor­ded in it.

68 Ori­gin­ally Art. 57a.

69 SR 235.1

Section 2 Processing Personal Data when Using Electronic Infrastructure70

70 Inserted by No I of the FA of 1 Oct. 2010 (Data Protection in the Use of Electronic Infrastructure), in force since 1 April 2012 (AS 2012 941; BBl 2009 8513).

Art. 57i Relationship to other federal law  

The reg­u­la­tions in this sec­tion do not ap­ply if an­oth­er fed­er­al act reg­u­lates the pro­cessing of per­son­al data linked to the use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture.

Art. 57j Principles  

1 Un­der the Fed­er­al Act of 19 June 199271 on Data Pro­tec­tion, fed­er­al bod­ies may not re­cord and eval­u­ate per­son­al data linked to the use of their elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture or any elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture op­er­ated by them un­less this is ne­ces­sary for any of the pur­poses set out in Art­icles 57l–57o.

2 Data pro­cessing as de­scribed in this sec­tion may also re­late to per­son­al data and per­son­al­ity pro­files which are par­tic­u­larly worthy of pro­tec­tion.

Art. 57k Electronic infrastructure  

Elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture in­cludes all sta­tion­ary or mo­bile in­stall­a­tions and devices cap­able of re­cord­ing per­son­al data; it in­cludes in par­tic­u­lar:

a.
data pro­cessing sys­tems, net­work com­pon­ents and soft­ware;
b.
data stor­age units;
c.
tele­phones;
d.
print­ers, scan­ners, fax and pho­to­copy­ing ma­chines;
e.
time­keep­ing sys­tems;
f.
ac­cess and video sur­veil­lance sys­tems;
g.
geo­pos­i­tion­ing sys­tems.
Art. 57l Recording personal data  

The fed­er­al bod­ies may re­cord per­son­al data as­so­ci­ated with the use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture for the fol­low­ing pur­poses:

a.
all data, in­clud­ing of the con­tent of elec­tron­ic cor­res­pond­ence: for back-up pur­poses;
b.
data linked to the use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture:
1.
to en­sure the se­cur­ity of in­form­a­tion and ser­vices,
2.
to en­sure that elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture is main­tained on a tech­nic­al level,
3.
to veri­fy com­pli­ance with li­cens­ing reg­u­la­tions,
4.
to trace ac­cess to data col­lec­tions,
5.
to re­cord any costs arising from the use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture;
c.
data on staff work­ing hours: to man­age work­ing hours;
d.
data on per­sons en­ter­ing, leav­ing and re­main­ing on fed­er­al premises: for se­cur­ity pur­poses.
Art. 57m Data evaluation not relating to persons  

Eval­u­ation of re­cor­ded data which does not re­late to per­sons is per­mit­ted for the pur­poses stated in Art­icle 57l.

Art. 57n Data evaluation not relating to named persons  

Eval­u­ation of re­cor­ded data which does not re­late to named per­sons is per­mit­ted by ran­dom sampling for the fol­low­ing pur­poses:

a.
to mon­it­or the use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture;
b.
to mon­it­or staff work­ing hours.
Art. 57o Data evaluation relating to named persons  

1 Eval­u­ation of re­cor­ded data which relates to named per­sons is per­mit­ted for the fol­low­ing pur­poses:

a.
to in­vest­ig­ate spe­cif­ic sus­pi­cion re­gard­ing ab­use of elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture and to take ac­tion against proven ab­use;
b.
to ana­lyse and elim­in­ate dis­rup­tions to elec­tron­ic in­fra­struc­ture and pro­tect against clear threats to this in­fra­struc­ture;
c.
to provide re­quired ser­vices;
d.
to de­term­ine and in­voice ser­vices rendered;
e.
to mon­it­or in­di­vidu­al work­ing hours.

2 Eval­u­ation ac­cord­ing to para­graph 1 let­ter a may only be car­ried out:

a.
by fed­er­al bod­ies;
b.
once the per­son con­cerned has been in­formed in writ­ing.
Art. 57p Prevention of abuse  

The fed­er­al au­thor­ity takes the re­quired pre­vent­ive tech­nic­al and or­gan­isa­tion­al meas­ures to pre­vent ab­uses.

Art. 57q Implementing provisions  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil reg­u­lates in par­tic­u­lar:

a.
the re­cord­ing, safe­guard­ing and de­struc­tion of data;
b.
the data pro­cessing pro­ced­ure;
c.
ac­cess to data;
d.
the tech­nic­al and the or­gan­isa­tion­al meas­ures to guar­an­tee data se­cur­ity.

2 Data may only be kept as long as is ne­ces­sary.

3 Un­less oth­er­wise de­term­ined by an Or­din­ance is­sued by the Fed­er­al As­sembly, these im­ple­ment­ing pro­vi­sions where ap­pro­pri­ate ap­ply to data re­lat­ing to mem­bers of the Fed­er­al As­sembly and the staff of the Par­lia­ment­ary Ser­vices.

Title 5 Individual and Final Provisions

Chapter 1 Legal Status

Art. 58 Official seat  

The of­fi­cial seat of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil, the de­part­ments and the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery is the City of Bern.

Art. 59 Place of residence of the members of the Federal Council and of the Federal Chancellor  

Mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor are free to choose their place of res­id­ence; however, it must be with­in easy reach of the of­fi­cial seat.

Art. 60 Professional incompatibility  

1 The mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor may not oc­cupy an­oth­er po­s­i­tion in the Con­fed­er­a­tion or an of­fi­cial po­s­i­tion in a can­ton nor may they carry out an­oth­er pro­fes­sion or trade.

2 They may not hold a po­s­i­tion as dir­ect­or, man­ager or mem­ber of an ad­min­is­tra­tion, su­per­vis­ory body or audit­ing body of or­gan­isa­tions that pur­sue an eco­nom­ic activ­ity.

3 The mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor may not ex­er­cise an of­fi­cial func­tion for a for­eign state or ac­cept a title or dec­or­a­tion from a for­eign au­thor­ity.72

72 In­ser­ted by No I 2 of the FA of 23 June 2000 on Titles and Dec­or­a­tions of For­eign Au­thor­it­ies, in force since 1 Feb. 2001 (AS 2001 114; BBl 1999 7922).

Art. 61 Personal incompatibility 73  

1 The fol­low­ing may not be mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil at the same time:

a.
two per­sons mar­ried to each oth­er or who live in a re­gistered part­ner­ship or as co­hab­it­ees;
b.
re­l­at­ives and in-laws re­lated in dir­ect line or col­lat­er­ally up to the fourth de­gree;
c.
two per­sons whose spouses or re­gistered part­ners are sib­lings.

2 This pro­vi­sion ap­plies by ana­logy to the de­gree of re­la­tion­ship between the Fed­er­al Chan­cel­lor and mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil.

73 Amended by An­nex No 4 of the Same-Sex Part­ner­ship Act of 18 June 2004, in force since 1 Jan. 2007 (AS 2005 5685; BBl 2003 1288).

Art. 61a74  

74 In­ser­ted by An­nex No II 3 of the Par­lia­ment Act of 13 Dec. 2002 (AS 2003 3543; BBl 200134675428). Re­pealed by An­nex No 2 of the FA of 17 June 2011 (Ap­plic­a­tions to re­peal im­munity), with ef­fect from 5 Dec. 2011 (AS 2011 4627; BBl 2010 73457385).

Chapter 2 Approval of Cantonal Enactments 75

75 Originally before Art. 62. Amended by No I of the FA of 7 Oct. 2005, in force since 1 June 2006 (AS 2006 1265; BBl 20047103).

Art. 61b76  

1 Where re­quired by a fed­er­al act, the can­tons sub­mit their acts and or­din­ances to the Con­fed­er­a­tion for ap­prov­al; ap­prov­al is a con­di­tion of valid­ity.

2 The de­part­ments give ap­prov­al in un­con­tro­ver­sial cases.

3 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall de­cide in dis­puted cases. It may also give ap­prov­al with re­ser­va­tion.

76 Ori­gin­ally Art. 62, there­after Art. 61a. Amended by No I of the FA of 7 Oct. 2005, in force since 1 June 2006 (AS 2006 1265; BBl 20047103).

Chapter 3 Information on Agreements between the Cantons or between a Canton and an Institution Abroad 77

77 Inserted by No I of the FA of 7 Oct. 2005, in force since 1 June 2006 (AS 2006 1265; BBl 20047103).

Art. 61c Duty to provide information 78  

1 The can­tons shall in­form the Con­fed­er­a­tion of any agree­ments con­cluded among them­selves or with in­sti­tu­tions abroad. They shall in­form the Con­fed­er­a­tion of any agree­ments with an in­sti­tu­tion abroad be­fore they are con­cluded. The Con­fed­er­a­tion and the can­tons shall seek am­ic­able solu­tions.

2 Agree­ments are ex­emp­ted from the duty to provide in­form­a­tion if they:

a.
serve to im­ple­ment agree­ments about which the Con­fed­er­a­tion is in­formed;
b.
prin­cip­ally con­cern the au­thor­it­ies or reg­u­late ad­min­is­trat­ive is­sues.

78 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 7 Oct. 2005, in force since 1 June 2006 (AS 2006 1265; BBl 20047103).

Art. 62 Procedure 79  

1 The Con­fed­er­a­tion shall in­form the pub­lic in the Of­fi­cial Fed­er­al Gaz­ette about agree­ments that are brought to its know­ledge.

2 The de­part­ment re­spons­ible ex­am­ines wheth­er or not an agree­ment is in ac­cord­ance with the law and in­terests of the Con­fed­er­a­tion. It shall in­form the can­tons that are party to the agree­ment of the res­ult with­in two months fol­low­ing pub­lic­a­tion of the in­form­a­tion in terms of para­graph 1. Can­tons that are not party to the agree­ment (third-party can­tons) shall in­form the con­tract­ing parties of any ob­jec­tions they may have with­in the same time peri­od.

3 If ob­jec­tions ex­ist, the de­part­ment or third-party can­tons shall at­tempt to reach an am­ic­able solu­tion with the can­tons that are party to the agree­ment.

4 If no solu­tion is reached, the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and third-party can­tons may raise a form­al ob­jec­tion with the Fed­er­al As­sembly with­in six months fol­low­ing pub­lic­a­tion of the in­form­a­tion in terms of para­graph 1.

79 In­ser­ted by No I of the FA of 8 Oct. 1999 (AS 2000 289; BBl 1999 7922). Amended by No I of the FA of 7 Oct. 2005, in force since 1 June 2006 (AS 2006 1265; BBl 20047103).

Chapter 4 Concentrated Decision-Making Process80

80 Originally Chapter 2bis. Inserted by No I 1 of the FA of 18 June 1999 on the Coordination and Simplification of the Decision-Making Process, in force since 1 Jan. 2000 (AS 1999 3071; BBl 1998 2591).

Art. 62a Hearing  

1 If, in pro­jects such as those in­volving build­ings and in­stall­a­tions, an act provides for the con­cen­tra­tion of de­cision-mak­ing in a single au­thor­ity (the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity), this au­thor­ity hears the state­ments of the spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies con­cerned be­fore mak­ing a de­cision.

2 If sev­er­al spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies are con­cerned, the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity listens to their state­ments at the same time; it may however hear them one after the oth­er if there are par­tic­u­lar reas­ons for do­ing so.

3 The prin­cip­al au­thor­ity sets the spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies a dead­line for provid­ing a state­ment; the dead­line is nor­mally two months.

4 The prin­cip­al au­thor­ity and the spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies shall agree am­ic­ably on the cases in which ex­cep­tion­ally no state­ment needs to be provided.

Art. 62b Elimination of differences  

1 If there are any dif­fer­ences between the state­ments of the spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies or if the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity does not agree with the state­ments, it con­ducts a dis­cus­sion with the spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies with­in 30 days in or­der to elim­in­ate any dif­fer­ences. In this it may call on fur­ther au­thor­it­ies or spe­cial­ists.

2 If the dif­fer­ences are suc­cess­fully elim­in­ated, the res­ult is bind­ing for the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity.

3 If the dif­fer­ences can­not be suc­cess­fully elim­in­ated, the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity de­cides; if con­sid­er­able diffe­rences ex­ist between ad­min­is­trat­ive units of the same de­part­ment, the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity shall in­struct the de­part­ment on how to re­solve the mat­ter. If sev­er­al de­part­ments are in­volved, they con­sult to reach an agree­ment. When ex­plain­ing their de­cision, they should ex­plain the dif­fer­ences in their po­s­i­tions.

4 The spe­cial­ist au­thor­it­ies con­cerned may de­fend their own point of view be­fore an ap­peals au­thor­ity even after hav­ing taken part in a pro­ced­ure to elim­in­ate dif­fer­ences.

Art. 62c Deadlines  

1 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil sets dead­lines with­in which a de­cision is to be reached for each pro­ced­ure to ap­prove plans for build­ings and in­stall­a­tions.

2 If any of these dead­lines can­not be met, the prin­cip­al au­thor­ity in­forms the ap­plic­ant when the de­cision is likely to be made, with reas­ons giv­en.

Chapter 5 Tax Exemption and Protection of Federal Property81

81 Originally Chapter 2ter. Inserted by Annex No II 3 of the Parliament Act of 13 Dec. 2002, in force since 1 Dec. 2003 (AS 2003 3543; BBl 200134675428).

Art. 62d Tax exemption  

The Con­fed­er­a­tion as well as its in­sti­tu­tions, busi­nesses and non-autonom­ous found­a­tions are ex­empt from all tax­a­tion im­posed by the can­tons and com­munes, oth­er than in the case of prop­er­ties which do not serve an im­me­di­ate pub­lic pur­pose.

Art. 62e Liability  

1 The can­tons are li­able to the Con­fed­er­a­tion for dam­age to its prop­erty as a res­ult of dis­rup­tion to pub­lic or­der.

2 Can­ton­al and com­mun­al reg­u­la­tions on in­sur­ance ob­lig­a­tions do not ap­ply to the Con­fed­er­a­tion.

Chapter 6 Domiciliary Rights82

82 Originally Chapter 2quater. Inserted by Annex No II 3 of the Parliament Act of 13 Dec. 2002, in force since 1 Dec. 2003 (AS 2003 3543; BBl 200134675428).

Art. 62f  

The Con­fed­er­a­tion ex­er­cises dom­i­cil­i­ary rights in its build­ings.

Chapter 7 Final Provisions83

83 Originally Chapter 3.

Art. 63 Repeal of the Administration Organisation Act  

The Fed­er­al Act of 19 Septem­ber 197884 on the Or­gan­isa­tion and Man­age­ment of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil and the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­pealed.

84[AS 1979 114, 1983 170931Art. 59 No 2, 1985 699, 1987 226No II 2 808, 1989 2116, 1990 3Art. 1 1530 No II 1 1587 Art. 1, 1991 362No I, 1992 2 Art. 1 288 An­nex No 2 510 581 An­nex No 2, 1993 1770, 1995 9784093An­nex No 2 4362 Art. 1 5050 An­nex No 1, 1996 546An­nex No 1 1486 1498 An­nex No 1]

Art. 6485  

85 Re­pealed by No I of the FA of 22 March 2002 on the Re­vi­sion of Or­gan­isa­tion­al Pro­vi­sions of Fed­er­al Le­gis­la­tion, with ef­fect from 1 Feb­ru­ary 2003 (AS 2003 187; BBl 2001 3845).

Art. 6586  

86 Re­pealed by Art. 65 No 2 of the Fin­an­cial Budget Act of 7 Oct. 2005, with ef­fect from 1 May 2006 (AS 20061275; BBl 2005 5).

Art. 66 Referendum and commencement  

1 This Act is sub­ject to an op­tion­al ref­er­en­dum.

2 The Fed­er­al Coun­cil shall de­term­ine the com­mence­ment date.

Com­mence­ment date: 1 Oc­to­ber 199787

87FCD 3 Sept. 1997.

Annex

Amendments to other Federal Acts

...88

88 The amendments may be consulted under AS 1997 2022.

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