Cabinet, ministers and state secretaries
The Cabinet consists of the government ministers and the state secretaries. A newly formed Cabinet is given the name of its prime minister: at present the Rutte-Verhagen Cabinet is in office.
A minister provides a particular ministry with political leadership. A minister can also be appointed that does not exercise leadership over a ministry – the 'minister without portfolio'. Such a minister resides with one of the ministries.
The state secretary also attends the meeting of the council of ministers if a subject is discussed within the council for which he is responsible according to his job description.
A minister can be assisted by one or more state secretaries to whom the minister delegates some of his duties.
The Cabinet and the individual ministers must report to Parliament. They must also have the confidence of a majority of Parliament.