There are nine Government Departments, each of which is a separate legal entity with its own functions, powers and responsibilities. Each is represented on the Council of Ministers by its Minister.
The Departments account for the great bulk of Government's personnel and budget and are the principal agencies through which public services are provided.
There are powers under the Government Departments Act 1987 to vary the number or name of the Departments. There have been some changes of name and function since 1986.
Each Department is headed by its Minister and the functions of the Department are exercised by the Minister. Each Department has, in addition, one or more members, who are Members of Tynwald. The members are appointed by the Governor in Council and they may be authorised by the Minister to exercise any of his functions in his place, either alone or jointly with him or with any other person or persons.
The nine Departments are as follows :-