The Quintumvirate is the five-member governmental committee sharing chief executive responsibilities over the Illuminatian government's Ultrabureau of the Executive (UBE). The group of five leads the UBE, one of the four top-tier branches of the Illuminatian government.
The members of The Quintumvirate are not elected, but rather are appointed to the position through advisement of the leadership of the government's four other ultrabureaus. Each member of The Quintumvirate serves a term that is staggered such that only one member is up for of appointment at any one time. All five members of The Quintumvirate hold equal power. No one member of The Quintumvirate holds a higher position of leadership; no one member is chosen as a chief or president or prime minister or secretary. Each of the five seats of The Quintumvirate shares the same title so that no one member can be singled-out as holding a superior position; the individual seats of the body are generally only referenced based upon the time at which the term of the appointment was made.
The structure of the Ultrabureau of the Executive evolved from that of the top ranks of the command of the Lucidus mission. The Quintumvirate is a vestige of the top officers of the mission's command. Persons appointed to The Quintumvirate are chosen based on experience and knowledge, making the governing body somewhat of a meritocracy. Each of the five members of The Quintumvirate is generally understood to bring to the position an area of expertise and is often considered a chief expert on that subject area.
Unlike many governments of early Earth and only somewhat unlike the command board the Lucidus mission, The Quintumvirate as a chief executive body does not hold an extraordinary level of power over agenda-setting or decision-making—powers that are all delegated to bureaus and departments of the Ultrabureau of the Executive. But The Quintumvirate still holds a position of high visibility and responsibility over the functioning of the UBE and tends to be held to account for any real or perceived dysfunction or poor decision-making.
The five members of The Quintumvirate are appointed to terms of a duration of 5 AU, which one appointment taking place per AU in a fashion that equally spaces the beginning of each term.
The three legislative bodies of the Ultrabureau of the Legislative each vote on the delegation that the UBL sends to each Quintumvirate appointment, providing the chief democratic element to the selection of The Quintumvirate. The Ultrabureau of the Judiciary is represented in this endeavor by the Superlative High Court. The Ultrabureau of Control is represented by the UBC's Chief Audit Council.
The body formed by these delegations must come to a strict consensus on each appointment; a vote of majority or supermajority or a decision with any objectors or dissenters will not suffice. The body of delegates has an incentive to come to a consensus, as, by law, the delegates are all subject to immediate dismissal from their respective governmental positions if the body cannot come to a decision. Cultural custom also holds that any member of a failed Quintumvirate delegate body must be subject to a period of public ridicule and humiliation.