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Prior to 1973, the “King’s Office” and the “Royal Ministry” were responsible for: Scheduling appointments, writing and broadcasting correspondence, records, messages, and the King’s decrees, orders and informing governors of its implementation. With Daud Khan coming to power and the establishment of the republic, the Dar al-Tahrir was expanded into a “presidential office” and took responsibility of law enforcement, diplomatic, protocol, service, security, and the presidential plan and policy.
After the 1978 coup d’etat, “The office of the Republic” was changed into “the Office of the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council”. The office was responsible for protecting the presidential palace, providing presidential logistics services, formalities, scheduling appointments and correspondence affairs, which also gained the power to draft laws, decrees and public decisions by abolishing the constitution and other laws
The Loya Jirga of 1987 selected a president; the Afghan Presidential System was formed. The main purpose of this apparatus was to regulate the presidency in various political, social, economic, cultural, defense, and security aspects. It consists of sectorial departments, including law enforcement and judicial affairs; national economy and reconstruction; international relations including protocol; liaison with political parties and social organizations; defense and security; press office; tribal councils and parliamentary affairs; and there were the Department of Culture and Social Services; the Office of Islamic Affairs; control and auditing; and the badges and medals. In addition, the Administrative Office of the President was in charge of service and support affairs.
Even though it was presidential system, with parliament and Prime Minister, the Presidential Apparatus held more power than the Office of the Chief of Staff. The Presidential Apparatus consisted of Secretary of the President, and four vice presidents as leads. In the field of governance, two branches of the government (judiciary and legislature) belonged to the first vice-president and the other vice-presidents focused and worked in the economic, social and military spheres. Documents related to those government entities were issued with their signatures. Experts working in the office were among the best in the country. These experts assisted ministries and other government entities in accordance with the plan and policy and reported to the Presidential Palace. The president, if necessary, would issue specific orders to government agencies or refer them to the Council of Ministers for discussion and evaluation.
Following the establishment of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1992, the Presidential Apparatus and Administration Office of the President (with the promotion of its departments to directorates) formed the Administrative Office of the President.
During this period, the Administrative office lost its leading role and many experts were either fired or were asked to resign. It lost its status as a policy-making body. Major and fundamental decisions of the Council of Ministers were signed by the President himself. The Administrative Office was transformed into an entity that was limited to only working with ministries.
With the rise of the Taliban and declaring Kandahar as center of the government, they also entrusted the operational part of the government with communications to AOP. The parliamentarian system with a Prime Minister was abolished. And institutions such as the Control and Audit Department, Directorate of Counter Disaster, the Private Investment Bureau, and local organs were incorporated into the “Administrative Office of the President “. A large number of experienced and cadres of the former Administration of the Prime Minister were also recruited to Administrative Office of the President.
Apart from having included other institutions, the role of Administrative Office of the President remained same.
With the creation of a transitional government in 2002, some departments of “Administrative Office of the President” were elevated to the directorates, but the Directorate of Control and Audit; Directorate of Counter Natural Disaster; Private Investment Bureau, and the Office of Chief of Staff to the President, were excluded and turned into an independent budgetary organs.
The Mathematical-Philosophical Research Center of the World and the Directorate of Hairatan Port transportation were other departments that were transferred to other entities and excluded from the Administrative Office of the President.