The Executive: Meaning, Functions And Restraints

Table Of Contents
1. Functions Of The Executive
2. Restraints On The Executive
3. The Relationship Between The Legislature And The Executive
The Executive:
This is another arm of government. It is made up of the Head of State and Head of Government (if any) and ministers.
Functions Of The Executive
1. To enforce laws made by the legislature.
2. To determine and guide business transacted in the legislature i.e. in a parliamentary system of government.
3. To raise public funds (e.g collecting of taxes) and prepare how public funds would be spent (e.g. Budgeting).
4. To maintain peace and order e.g. recruiting of police force to check crimes.
5. To formulate major policies of the government.
6. To enter into international treaties or agreements.
7. To provide the people with social amenities and infrastructure such as building of schools and hospitals etc.
8. To recruit, discipline and promote public servants.
9. To establish government departments and co-ordinate their various activities.
10. To recruit, train and equip a standing army to defend the state from external aggression.
Restraints On The Executive
The executive is limited in its functions by the following factors:
1. The Constitution- The executive must act in accordance with the constitution.
2. The legislature also controls the executive in the following ways:
1. Impeachment of the president.
2. Refusal or delay of measures proposed by the president.
3. Accountability- Summoning members of the executive to appear before the committee of the legislature.
4. Power of the legislature to approve nominee of the president for public offices.
5. The president cannot declare war without the approval of the legislature.
3. The Judiciary can declare actions of the executive as ultra vires.
The Relationship Between The Legislature And Executive
1. The legislature makes laws while the executive enforces the laws.
2. The executive determines and guide the business transacted in the legislature.
3. The legislature authorizes the raising and spending of money by the executive.
4. The executive formulates policies and the legislature approves such policies.
5. The legislature ratifies all international treaties entered into by the executive.
6. The legislature can control the executive through a vote of no confidence or impeachment.
7. The executive may recommend the dissolution of the legislature.