The political head of each of Guyana’s some 18 ministries is a minister who is appointed to office by the president. Ministers can be selected from within or without the unicameral National Assembly. Un-elected appointees become members of the National Assembly by virtue of their holding office but are not permitted to vote in the assembly.
Some ministers are also selected to join the Cabinet, which together with the President and the prime minister, forms the executive decision making arm of the government, discerning the general policy direction of the administration. The highest ranking civil servant in Guyana is a Permanent Secretary who, under the general direction and control of a Minister, supervises the operations of government departments and ministries.