The Cabinet consists of the Premier and at least six other members of the Legislature.
The Governor appoints the majority leader in the House of Assembly as Premier, who in turn nominates the other members of Cabinet. They are assigned responsibilities for government departments and other business. The Cabinet is responsible to the Legislature.
The functions of the members of the Cabinet are:
· final determination of policies;
· supreme control of Government; and
· co-ordination of government departments.
The Cabinet meets in private and its proceedings are confidential. Its members are bound by oath not to disclose information about its proceedings. Normally the Cabinet meets for a few hours once a week.
The Cabinet acts unanimously even when Cabinet Ministers do not all agree on a subject. The policy of departmental Ministers must be consistent with the policy of the government as a whole.
Once the government's policy on a matter has been decided, each Minister is expected to support it or resign. On rare occasions, Ministers have been allowed free votes in Parliament on matters involving important issues of conscience.
The History of the Cabinet Building
The Cabinet Building was designed in 1837, by an officer of the Royal Engineers then serving in Bermuda.
When it was first opened in 1884, it was known as The Public Building and housed the Customs and Treasury Departments and the Bermuda Library on the ground floor with the Council Room and the Secretariat on the upper.
It has remained the home of the Council and the Secretariat ever since, with the exception of a period of nine years (1969 - 1977) when the Executive Council was based in offices on the second floor of the General Post Office at Church and Parliament Streets.