Federal Ministries, assist the respective Federal Ministers in the conduct of business within his/her competence (compare Federal Chancellery). The number, competencies and establishment of the federal ministries are fixed by the Federal Ministries Act (as amended). Each federal ministry is subdivided into sections, which are subdivided into departments. Several departments can form groups. They also have auxiliary services (e.g. libraries, receiving and dispatching stations, secretarial and typing/computer offices, accounting department); it is possible to set up "shared" ministerial secretariats to handle the affairs of various sections in common. Since April 1, 2000 the following federal ministries have existed: ( Ministry for Foreign Affairs)), Ministry for Education, Science and Culture, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry for National Defence ( Ministry of Defence), Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management ( Ministry of Agriculture), Ministry for Public Services and Sports ( Verwaltungsministerium), Ministry for Social Security and Generations ( Ministry of Social Affairs), Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology ( Ministry of Transport), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour ( Ministry of Economic Affairs). The Federal Chancellery is also a ministry.
The Federal Ministries formerly had other areas of responsibility and different designations: Ministry of Family Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade, Ministry for Environmental Affairs, Ministry for Education, Ministry of Science.
Literature#W. Barfuss, Ressortzustaendigkeit und Vollzugsklausel (Forschungen aus Staat und Recht 7), 1968.