The General Secretariat (GS) is the nerve centre of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). As such, it coordinates the activities of the various Federal Offices within DETEC. Given the interconnected nature of many of these activities, this coordination role is essential. The GS prepares Federal Council business, assists with policy planning, liaises with parliament and handles internal and external communication. The GS also manages DETEC resources and acts in an ownership capacity in dealings with SwissPost, SBB, Swisscom and Skyguide, making sure that strategic objectives set by the Federal Council have been met.
A number of administrative bodies report directly to the GS: the Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television (ICA), the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom), the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB), the Postal Services Regulation Authority (PostReg), the Federal Electricity Commission (ElCom), the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), the Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations (ESTI), the Federal Pipelines Inspectorate (ERI) as well as the Railways Arbitration Commission (RACO).