David Cameron's former policy chief has spoken of his "horror" at Downing Street's inability to control Government decisions, according to The Sunday Times.
Steve Hilton has reportedly admitted that the Prime Minister often finds out about policies from the radio or newspapers - and in many cases he opposes them.
Mr Hilton's comments are said to have been delivered during a seminar for students at California's Stanford University, where he is teaching while taking a sabbatical.
"Very often you'll wake up in the morning and hear on the radio or the news or see something in the newspapers about something the Government is doing", he said.
"And you think, well, hang on a second - it's not just that we didn't know it was happening, but we don't even agree with it! The Government can be doing things ... and we don't agree with it? How can that be?"
"When you start thinking about how things get decided, it's pretty incredible ... it's a brilliant system for paper-shuffling people to be in control", he said, adding, "The bureaucracy masters the politicians. I don't mean that in a hostile way - it's just a fact".
David Cameron's closest adviser Steve Hilton is quitting Downing Street for a year to take a visiting professorship at Stanford University in America.
He is due to return next summer. A Number 10 spokesman said:
"With his wife and young family, Steve will be moving to California. He will join Stanford as a visiting scholar at the university's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and will also be a visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution."