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7 14:00 Vice Chancellor Thomas Helbling meets with the legal experts in his team. They discuss the items of business for tomorrow’s Federal Council meeting point by point, screening every motion put to the Federal Council for legal and formal accuracy. 15:00 The Federal Chancellery has circulated the latest version of the agenda for tomorrow’s Federal Council meeting. Each item of business has been carefully pre- pared by the relevant department. The agenda lists the items of business from the seven departments and the Federal Chancellery. The Federal Councillors have the opportunity to submit their views on the items of busi- ness in writing to their colleagues and propose amend- ments. This is known as the joint reporting procedure and is coordinated by the Federal Chancellery. The Federal Chancellery is pre- paring for a long evening 18:00 The joint reporting procedure should have been concluded by now, but several departments are request- ing additional time. The Federal Chancellery gets ready for a long evening. 21:00 Everything is on track. The final comments and statements have been received by fax. They are exam- ined by Federal Chancellery staff and can now be en- tered into the database. Legal review The Federal Chancellery is responsible for ensuring that all decisions made by the Federal Council are legally watertight. The legal experts examine all items of Federal Coun- cil business and decrees to ensure they are legally correct. They also have other responsibilities, such as handling questions on how to interpret the principle of freedom of information, which essentially entitles anyone to view public administration documents. Thomas Helbling Vice Chancellor Thomas Helbling is deputy to the Federal Chancel- lor and a member of the Federal Chancellery’s management team. He heads the Federal Council Sector. Together with the Federal Chancellor and his fellow Vice Chancellor, Federal Council spokesman André Simonazzi, Thomas Helbling prepares, attends and follows up the meetings of the Federal Council. Agenda Federal Council business is divided into the follow- ing colour categories: Orange list: uncontrover- sial matters. Blue list: the Federal Council’s statements on parliamentary requests. White list: matters of considerable political importance that need to be discussed. Green list: confidential and classified matters. Gesetzgebung Themen