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Composition of the Ministry of Magic

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taure, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    How big do you think the Ministry is, in terms of employees? How many people do you envisage within each specific department?

    For example, I picture the Auror Office as consisting of no more than 10-15 Aurors. We know that Tonks was the first recruit in several years, which implies that most years the Auror Office takes on no new staff. On top of that, we know that Aurors are a highly specialised force focusing on the capture of Dark Wizards and (occasionally) the protection of VIPs. Periods of violent insurrection aside, how many Dark wizards can there be?

    We also see that there is no "wizard police" responsible for the enforcement of all laws. Rather, we see that Arthur Weasley creates laws relevant to his specific area of responsibility, then enforces those laws by going on raids etc. So law enforcement is divvied up between DMLE sub-departments rather than there being a single enforcement agency. To the extent that you need "officers on the beat", there is the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol for that.

    So, given Aurors' specialised nature and their known low recruitment rate, I'd expect their department to be very small, albeit prestigious.

    Wiki page on Ministry departments for reference.

    (For the purposes of this exercise, let's assume that the wizarding population is approximately 20,000.)
     
  2. aAlouda

    aAlouda Squib

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    In Half-Blood-Prince we learn that the ministry has a Support Staff of 500, when Fred mentioned that the Ministry bought that many Shielded Hats for all of their support staff, So I'd say overall there would be 550-600 employees.

    We also see that the office of Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office was considered pretty unimportant when it had only 2 employees, but regular offices are probably not much larger, the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and
    Protective Objects
    was considered to be big with only 11 people. So I'd imagine the average Office in the Ministry only has about 5-8 employees

    So you're probably right about the number Aurors, but its likely not unusal compared to other important offices.

    I think in general though the numbers of Wizards per Department would be quiet uneevingly distributed, with the
    Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes and the Department of Magical Law Enforcement having a lot more people working for them than the Department of Mysteries or the Department of Magical Transportation, the former probably have each more than a hundred wizards working for them, with the later likely not having more 2-3 dozen each.
     
  3. Niez

    Niez Second Year

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    Not doubting you or anything, but where is that from? OoP?
     
  4. aAlouda

    aAlouda Squib

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    Yes,
     
  5. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    On the basis of a population around 20,000, I'd say that you're probably right about having only 10-15 Aurors. And without any canon basis but a dose of common sense and some experience with the way the public sector works, about 10% of them will likely be near retirement and on reduced hours. Or alternatively, are retired and get called up when extra resources are needed.

    I'm on board with the idea that mostly the individual departments are responsible for enforcing their own areas of law. So the Department of Magical Transportation would be responsible for investigating things like unauthorised portkeys or misuse of floo connections. They would presumably investigate, and then issue a summons or visit the suspect in person. If they had reason to believe that the individual was a threat, thats where I'd see the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol being requested to attend.

    In HBP we see Bob Ogden, the head of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, going to arrest Morfin Gaunt for muggle baiting. I'd deduce from that that there aren't many people on the Patrol at any one time. If we guess that the head of the Patrol is roughly equivalent to an Inspector, they wouldn't normally get sent out to arrest someone on a minor assault charge, which I think is probably similar in gravity to muggle baiting. So why was the head sent out to make that arrest?

    Beyond that, the Patrol supposedly contains Hitwizards and other staff. So Hitwizards are their more elite, highly trained members (though still falling short of the standard of Aurors?). If Aurors are special branch/intelligence (guessing somewhat, based on the training they get for Concealment and Disguise, and Stealth and Tracking), are Hitwizards proper constables and the regular Patrolwizards the equivalent of Police Community Support Officers?

    Interesting little note from the wiki, the DMLE was established sometime between 1707 and 1718, the unforgivables were designated such and outlawed during that same period. The statute of secrecy came into force in 1692. I wonder if there was a period of 15-20 years where all sorts of nonsense went down, and the Ministry couldn't really do anything about it.

    More generally, if the population is 20k then thats effectively the population of a small town (being spread across a country I feel is negated by the instantaneous long distance travel). So the needs of the Ministry are probably more akin to a Town Council than a Central Government Department. Lots of small teams, in very specialised roles seems quite likely.
     
  6. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Relevant GoF quote:

    “Seats a hundred thousand,” said Mr. Weasley, spotting the awestruck look on Harry’s face.“Ministry task force of five hundred have been working on it all year. Muggle Repelling Charmson every inch of it. Every time Muggles have got anywhere near here all year, they’ve suddenly remembered urgent appointments and had to dash away again… bless them,” he added fondly, leading the way toward the nearest entrance, which was already surrounded by a swarm of shouting witches and wizards.

    Gives you a lower bound. To compare, I dug through the numbers of Liechtenstein. (I'd have taken San Marino, but I don't speak Italian.) Their population is 38k, and they employ around 900 people in running the country. Scaling proportionally isn't really going to work, because a lot of the work doesn't change, regardless how many people you have to serve, so let's take that as an upper bound instead.

    So a Ministry of 500 - 900 people. We also know the Ministry was really stretched organising the QWC, so possibly on the lower end? Btw: Liechtenstein employs 127 people in law enforcement, that's 90 officers, and 37 civilians. Security and traffic control 64, criminal investigation 16. There's also a paramilitary force of 38. Scaling that down gives you 20 Aurors(?). Sounds like a reasonable number, anyway.

    @Taure, the problem is; if all Aurors do is catch dark wizards, aren't they going to sit around idly like most of the time? It's not like there were any, absent a Dark Lord, e.g. in Canon until Sirius escaped. And conversely, who deals with serious crime -- theft, murder? It seems to me you'd have to expand their scope. And it's not like there needs to be a strict boundary: Aurors are clearly equipped to deal with Dark Magic, and they also are trained in the investigation part. So if, say, a murder is performed, using (dark) magic, Aurors seem like the sort of people you'd want to handle that.

    Could also someone define what the administrative role of a "Support Staff" is? If that's 500 people, does it make sense for them to make up like 80% of the Ministry?


    ----

    As an aside, in terms of worldbuilding, the summer of GoF really is the best. I loved re-reading it just now. We even see Malfoy's tent: Halfway up the field stood an extravagant confection of striped silk like a miniature palace, with several live peacocks tethered at the entrance.

    Never noticed before.
     
  7. darklordmike

    darklordmike Unspeakable

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    That definitely implies that there are a lot more than 250 students at Hogwarts, but that's another matter.

    A quick google suggests that there are approximately 20 police officers per 10,000 people in a given town in the US. That would put the overall number of Aurors around 40 if you accept the comparison. That means only 10-12 Aurors would be on duty at any given time, and only a few on foot patrol. That makes sense to me, given the number of Death Eaters in canon. We know the names of probably two dozen of them, but there have to be a lot more (and a corresponding force to fight them).

    They eat lots of donuts. Maybe Tonks weighs 400 pounds and she uses her abilities to hide it. I agree though--if McGonagall didn't call them an elite force, I'd assume from canon that they were a bunch of incompetent buffoons. Did we see any competent ones besides Shacklebolt and Tonks? Was there a single Ministry victory against Death Eaters?
     
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Well, two points:

    1. I think that if a person is going around using magic to murder people, they would be considered a dark wizard.

    2. I imagine dark wizards are very difficult to catch. Like, I can see a single Auror dedicating years to tracking down and apprehending a single dark wizard.

    Per my OP, I don't accept the comparison :p

    I'd put 40 not as the number of Aurors, but as the total number of front line personnel focused solely on law enforcement, e.g. Aurors + DMLE Patrol + Hitwizards, but not including people like Arthur Weasley whose role is both drafting of legislation and its enforcement.
     
  9. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    As I suggested above, I think Hitwizards and others on the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol would fill the majority of the "police officer" slots. Aurors aren't going to fill a huge percentage of the manpower of the DMLE, simply because its so difficult to get into the training and then with 3 years of training I'm imagining they have a fairly high drop out rate from that as well. If you have 40 law enforcement, I'm honestly thinking the number of Aurors would be at the bottom of @Taure's suggested number. 10 Aurors. Without any basis in canon, but some common sense, thats probably the day divided into 3 shifts. Early, Day, and Night. 2 Aurors on each shift, and likely 2 on long term investigations or other assignments like when Kingsley guarded the PM. That allows for 2 Aurors to be sick, injured, or on holiday at any time.

    For the difference between Aurors and Hitwizards, just look at the entry requirements. 5 NEWTS at EE or O, including DADA, Transfiguration, Potions, and Charms for Aurors, 5 OWLs with no minimum grade and only DADA required for Hitwizard. So you could, in theory, have a Hitwizard who got 5 A's in DADA, Divination, History of Magic, Ancient Runes, and Astronomy, who failed every other subject.

    I think this ties into Taure's thread before about what makes an average wizard, and what people graduate from Hogwarts with. I'm personally thinking that even sitting 5 NEWTs is probably at the upper end of things, let alone getting Es and Os in them.

    As for competent Aurors. We know that Dawlish got straight Os in his NEWTs. Theseus Scamander briefly held his own against Grindelwald.
     
  10. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Tell me about it. You'd need about 200 students a year to have a population of 20,000. My headcanon is that Hogwarts is an elite school, where Muggleborns are let in for free (thus the resentment), while the rest of the population has to pay. This also explains why there are so few halfbloods in Hogwarts, even though Rowling mentioned they are the majority of the wizarding population and why the Weasley's are so poor.

    That being said, I agree with everyone's numbers though I prefer a slightly larger wizarding world myself. I always assumed Aurors were a small department as serious crimes cannot be that common in a country of 20,000. You wouldn't need many in most normal times.
     
  11. aAlouda

    aAlouda Squib

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    There are mor than 250 students at Hogwarts, the books mention that Slytherin alone has over 200. Rowling never inteded for there only to be 40 students a year, those are just the ones she created names for. She mentioned that she imagined there would be considerably more students in Harrys year.
     
  12. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    As I understand it, she's said there are 1000 students. The idea of 250 comes from calculating from the number of students known in Harry's year and house, and assuming that stays even across all houses and all years. It may very well not, Harry's year could be abnormally small. Or it could just be that only the 5 boys were sorted into Gryffindor that year, but 20 went into Ravenclaw. We don't have complete class lists. I'd tend to err on the side of the 1000 students, since thats what she's actually said is the case, rather than a number derived from incomplete information.
     
  13. aAlouda

    aAlouda Squib

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    Like I said, Rowling confirmed that The Original Forty arent Harry's entire year.
    If there were only Forty students in Harrys year surely he would have known all their names by Half-Blood-Prince.
     
  14. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    That's assuming an average age at death of 100 years, when we know that wizards can and do exceed that by ludicrous amounts.

    Edit: McGonagall still has black hair and is described as a sprightly seventy. Dumbledore was 150 originally, and Madame Marchbanks was his OWL examiner and so presumably at least the muggle equivalent of middle aged. Average age well into the hundreds seems not only plausible, but probable. Rowling's depiction of characters we actually interacted with is skewed heavily leftward in terms of age and its effects on them though.
     
  15. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Without derailing the thread, I usually write a 700-students Hogwarts, and that works out for some 10 -15k population, depending on how long you set the average life expectancy. 280 students leads to 3,000 wizards/Britain, and there are just as many indications for that in Canon as for 30,000. You usually end up at either one, depending on what evidence you look at. I maintain that Rowling tried to calculate, and confused her zeros. The 100 students/year I use is mostly done for the sake of not having to introduce more teachers; it's the upper limit of what works without contrivances (time-turners etc.).

    (This is the summary of a decade or two of discussing this.)

    ---

    In terms of Aurors, I'm fairly happy with 15-20. The Auror Office is described thus:
    A dozen people or so is the feeling I get, and if not all are there currently, I think that number works out. I'd change the schedule, though, @Mordecai. At night only 2-4, and that only if they do police duty. If literally all they do is investigate and fight dark wizards, then in normal times, there's no need to pay a lot of money to Aurors to work at night.


    Also, adding to my question about Ministry "Support Staff", what do people think the "Wizengamot Administration Services" does?
     
  16. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'd reckoned on there being the night shift simply because I'd imagine Aurors provide an emergency response service in dangerous situations. Like there's a troll marauding round Hackney, the on duty Aurors respond to help contain the situation.

    However, I could also accept that the 'night shift' is actually just an 'on call' situation and they don't have to actually be at the Ministry. In which case just working regular day shifts would make sense.

    An interesting point to note. Hit wizards get paid 700 galleons a month. At the roughly £5 per galleon JK mentioned back in 2001, thats £42,000 a year. Now salary was mentioned in 1999, if we add inflation to the salary it turns into £72,000. Which is crazy money for someone with 5 OWLS. If Hitwizards get paid that, then how much do Aurors, who are substantially better qualified and trained, get paid?

    On the Wizengamot Administration Services @Sesc, I'd imagine its an office of maybe 10 folk at most. Basically doing the scheduling for the Wizengamot, including the judicial work they have. Maybe a bailiff type person or two, and a couple of legal researchers? Maybe a couple of folk who sort through the official mail that all the members receive? A special sound proofed room that the Howlers get diverted to?

    Another factor I've thought of to mention, tied to my earlier point that the Ministry is probably more similar to a Town Council. The majority of departments probably have a much higher number of operational 'do-ers' than a central government department would. If you think about, for example, a Planning Department for a small town council. Its probably got a couple of guys who understand the planning process pretty well and can help you with an application or complaint if required, and who do the admin associated with that sort of thing. 1, maybe 2 at most, who can go out to a site and do the onsite work to review an application or complaint. And someone to manage the department. In the Ministry, that Manager is probably the only 'policy' person. They would be responsible in large part for drafting new laws relating to their department, rather than the way a government department would work where they'd have an entire section of policy folk dedicated to the drafting of new legislation and policies.

    So my point being, very few big picture thinkers, mostly folk who have a practical job to do in making society function.
     
  17. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    More so if you consider that a better rate is a pound a sickle, so 17*700*12 = £142'800.

    FWIW, I'm inclined to consider Hitwizards a continuity error (or, more precisely, Rowling simply changed her mind, which is fair enough). They were mentioned is the Daily Prophets Rowling wrote before PoA, and the only time in the books is in PoA, when,
    Which sounds exactly like the job description of an Auror. And indeed, Aurors only appear afterwards, and Hitwizards never again. So in Canon Hitwizards = Aurors.

    Which doesn't mean Hitwizards can't be used in FF, ofc, but then you don't have to use the DP salaries.


    Anyway, @Mordecai, the reason I looked up microstates instead of towns is that towns don't have to administrate all of itself, plus no foreign relations. But good thoughts on the Wizengamot. Any ideas on the "Support Staff"? -- What I'm trying to get at is, is this a thing you immediately associate with something that I lack, kinda like the "Junior Minister" (no equivalent here)? Or is it just a generic title?
     
  18. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Thats a really fair point on hitwizards actually...I hadn't considered they may be an error on her part. Interesting...

    Regarding support staff, I'd say thats your secretarial, admin, cleaning, janitorial, research, etc staff. So for example you have the Minister. We know there is a Senior Undersecretary, who will basically be a cross between the US Chief of Staff and the UK Cabinet Secretary. We know there is a Junior Assistant to the Minister, who seems to be a gofer/secretary/PA.

    Beyond that, from DH Part 1 we know the Minister's support staff includes the Exotic Symbols Analysis, the Quill Control and Rune Translation Office, and the Special Adviser for Elf Legislation.

    So, I'd then extrapolate from this. If there is a Senior Undersecretary, I'd have a Junior Undersecretary as well. And if there is a Junior Assistant, I'd have an Executive Assistant or something titled along those lines. Perhaps I'd use the Junior Undersecretary (or just make it Undersecretary) rank for those additional offices? Undersecretary for Exotic Symbols Analysis? Could work.

    So the Minister's Support Staff would include his Executive Assistant and his Junior Assistant, between them responsible for facilitating the Minister's day to day work. There would be the Senior Undersecretary who serves as a personal representative of the Minister, attending meetings on his behalf, wielding a fair degree of personal authority, who would probably have their own Executive Assistant to manage their diary. Then the various Undersecretary posts, each with a junior assistant to facilitate their work?

    That would put the Office of the Minister at 11 folk including the Minister, unless there are more additional offices that just weren't revealed on camera in DH Part 1. Those numbers make reasonable sense in the context of what we've been discussing here.

    And I'd then apply that same rough structure to most departments. So each Director has Heads of... who run smaller, specialised teams. They probably range from having a single assistant (like Arthur Weasley does) to having a reasonable sized team under them (like the Head Auror presumably does, or perhaps the Head of Wizengamot Administrative Affairs). Then I'd give each Director an Executive Assistant and a Junior Assistant, and probably a couple of Specialist Advisers relevant to the area they work in.
     
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