Head of Section

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Section chief is a term for a high-ranking official .


In parts of Germany , this designation was common for the highest rank of civil servants in ministries until around 1915. In Prussia , the title was also used for heads of larger state institutes , e.g. B. the degree measurement office in Berlin.


In Austria , Section Head is the name given to the heads of sections in federal ministries , i.e. the top level of the division of business. He is consistently the highest ranking official in the ministry and is only subordinate to the Federal Minister himself, a State Secretary (who, however, has no authority to issue instructions), or a Secretary General (who is then authorized to issue instructions, who is then a senior official). In contrast to ministers and state secretaries, who are political functions of the federal government , section heads - as specialist civil servants - are generally not replaced when there is a change of government, but rather ensure the continuity of ministerial work: a section head is appointed for five years and then has to hold this position beeing confirmed. Once this has happened, he will remain in this position until retirement.

This rank owes its literary fame to the figure of the section head Tuzzi from Robert Musil's novel The Man without Qualities , as well as the section head Leonidas Tachezy from Franz Werfels A pale blue women's font . This rank became known to the general public through the figure of the section head Lafite from the series Die liebe Familie .


In Switzerland , the designation head of a section has two meanings:

In the military field, the section head is the liaison between members of the army in civilian clothes and the military offices. Today he is mainly responsible for the address administration and control of the people who are compulsory military service living in his community. He also provides information on military matters. Since today's Swiss army has far fewer conscripts and the population has generally declined, not every municipality has its own section head.

In the civil sector, a section head in the federal offices of the Swiss Confederation is a federal employee who heads a “section”.


  • Is an insurance office necessary? In: Prussian insurance magazine. Organ for the Law, Constitution and Administration of Insurance Companies , Volume 4. Wallmann, Berlin 1870, pp. 610–612.
  • Austrian Research Institute for Economics and Politics (Ed.): Reports and Information / Austrian Research Institute for Economics and Politics, Volume 25. Salzburg 1970, ISSN  0029-9863 , pp. 2, 15, 55, 95.
  • Rainer J. Schweizer (Ed.): Administration in the 21st Century. Challenges, problems, solutions. Academic Press Friborg 2003, ISBN 3-7278-1431-4 , p. 376. (20th Colloquium of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences 2001)