Luxembourg is not divided into provinces or territorial departments. The commune is its smallest administrative entity and its sole application of the principle of territorial decentralisation. The commune manages its assets and interests, under the control of the central government. This control, known as administrative supervision (tutelle administrative), is exercised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The commune exerts its authority through the communal council, the board of the mayor and aldermen (communal board) or through the mayor alone.
The internal operation and structure depend on the size of each commune. Each commune has an administrative service, the central administration office. It consists of a secretary, and, depending on the size of the commune, it may have various departments (education department, population office, finance department, etc.). In smaller communes, the secretary covers all the administrative roles.
In general, the communal secretary is directly responsible for keeping the register of births, marriages and deaths, and for providing extracts of this register (birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, etc.).
The population office (or the citizens office - office des citoyens) is mainly responsible for:
- the issue of identity documents (this task is usually in the hands of the population office - bureau de la population);
- keeping the population register (departure and arrival declarations in case of a change of address);
- organising censuses, such as the population census;
- drawing up electoral lists.
Some communes have a technical service, which is responsible for road maintenance and, where necessary, the building of new roads, pipes, green areas, communal buildings, public areas, cemeteries and sports facilities, etc.