Ministries are small and executive agencies (e.g. universities, police, armed forces, tax authority) form the bulk of the central government administration.
There is a comparatively clear division between the political and administrative execution of power, meaning that the political system – through the ministries – provides missions, rules and yearly resources, while relatively autonomous agencies – which comprise the whole of central government administration – carry out the operations of the central government. The heads of the more than 200 agencies are responsible for all issues related to their agency’s staff, technology, facilities, etc.
Heads of agencies carry the full responsibility as employers and are also enjoined to cooperate as an employers’ collective through the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (SAGE).
Statutory civil servant positions were replaced by ongoing employment contracts like those of the private sector a long time ago. Today, more than 99 percent of the central government employees are contracted; only some higher judges and a few others have tenured positions.