Puerto Rico Cabinet
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The Cabinet of Puerto Rico is the cabinet of the government of Puerto Rico and is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the government of Puerto Rico, who are generally the heads of the executive departments —known as the Council of Secretaries— and other officers at the same bureaucratic level—known as the Cabinet-level officers.
The Cabinet is composed by the Constitutional Cabinet, composed by the Secretaries established by the Constitution of Puerto Rico, and the Operational Cabinet, composed by the Secretaries and Cabinet-level officers established by extraconstitutional Puerto Rican law or appointed by the Governor. These Cabinets do not exist as agencies, but are referred as such in transcripts, records, official documents, and conversations for brevity and easiness.
Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the Governor, who may dismiss them or reappoint them (to other posts) at will.
Article IV of the Constitution of Puerto Rico establishes that the Governor shall be assisted by Secretaries whom shall collectively constitute the Governor's advisory council and be designated as the Council of Secretaries. These Secretaries and other officers which hold positions at the same bureaucratic level compose the Cabinet. On rare occasions, the Cabinet is called upon to ratify a gubernatorial decision, such as the appointment of a member of the board of the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank, in lieu of the Senate's advice and consent.
All Cabinet members are nominated by the Governor and then presented to the Senate for advice and consent by a simple majority—except for the Secretary of State who requires the advice and consent of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If the Cabinet members are confirmed they are sworn in and begin their duties immediately afterwards. However, Cabinet members appointed during a legislative recess may begin serving immediately under a recess appointment until the end of the following regular session of the Legislative Assembly, or rejected by the Senate, whichever occurs first, should they not be confirmed. All members leading executive departments receive the title of Secretary.
The Council of Secretaries is the group composed by the heads of the executive departments of the government of Puerto Rico. The Council is charged with leading the different sectors of public administration within the government and is comprised by:
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of Consumer Affairs
- Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation
- Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce
- Secretary of Education
- Secretary of Family Affairs
- Secretary of Health
- Secretary of Housing
- Secretary of Justice
- Secretary of Labor and Human Resources
- Secretary of Natural and Environmental Resources
- Secretary of Public Safety
- Secretary of Sports and Recreation
- Secretary of State
- Secretary of Transportation and Public Works
- Secretary of Treasury
The Cabinet-level officers of the executive branch of the government of Puerto Rico are the heads of the executive agencies that report directly to the Governor of Puerto Rico or to the Chief of Staff who also happen to not be Secretaries of an executive department nor members of an executive office—except for the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget and the Planning Board who are considered Cabinet-level officers. All the Cabinet-level officers are at the same bureaucratic level as of the Secretaries and together with the Council of Secretaries compose the Cabinet of Puerto Rico.